Saturday, February 28, 2009

Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading are books that I randomly post that I highly recommend. If you are ever bored and need an idea of something to read, just type in 'Recommended Reading' in the search box and all of my random posts will show up. *

Recommended Reading for Boys and Girls Over Eleven #1

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Kira, an orphan with a twisted leg, lives in a world where the weak are cast aside. When she is given a task that no other community member can carry out, Kira soon realizes that she is surrounded by many mysteries and secrets. No one must know of her plans to uncover the truth about her world—and to find out what exists beyond it.

Messenger by Lois Lowry

See my review here.

All of these books go together and form one story in the last one but I would suggest reading them in the order they are listed above. :)

*summaries from Barnes and Noble's website

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Poll Winner

This week's poll was ...

What do you like reading?

novels
magazines
newspapers
quick reads

And the winner is ...

novels!

(Yay! They are so fun to read.)

Barnes and Noble sale!

Check out the sales that Barnes and Noble has for Children and Teen books

What if ... everyone knew your name?

What if … everyone knew your name?
By Liz Ruckdeshel and Sara James
4 out of 5 stars

Haley Miller (age 15) and her family just moved to Hillsdale where she is thrown into public high school with the misfits, populars, and geeks. Chapter by chapter, you will choose Haley’s decisions and see how they play out in her life. With one wrong step, you could lead her into peer pressure or hanging out with the wrong crowd. Going to parties, meeting new people, or making friends with the cute History teacher will change the way she thinks about things. Who does she have a crush on, should she try out for soccer, and countless other things … will change everything. Whatever Haley does is in your hands so you better do it right.

I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. It was so fun! I didn’t get into any horrible situation (a few awkward moments, though) but, of course, I read though some other chapters and I have to say … be careful. There is some inappropriate content (if you make the wrong choices) but it teaches the right values and just goes to show how hard it is being a teenager. The flow of the writing and references are wonderful and kept me on my toes. I am, for sure, going to read more Choose Your Destiny novels in the near future!

(This is a great book for long car trips.)

*book copy borrowed from my local library


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is where I share with you a book that I am looking forward to reading when it is released.

(idea by Jill from Breaking the Spine)

When You Wish
by Kristin Harmel

Star Beck is super-duper megastar famous. She rocks—literally—every night in concert for thousands of cheering fans. But the pop star life—tour buses, fauxmances, size 0 minis—is getting a little old. Star can’t help wondering what it would be like to be a regular girl—without paparazzi trailing her every move, and without people being nice just because, well, she’s Star Beck. And when she discovers that her mom has been lying to her for years about something very important, Star decides to find out what the world beyond her stage is like after all.

In the blink of an emerald green eye, Star finds herself . . . buying a car. Eating cheeseburgers. Swapping her stilettos for flip-flops. Getting a job that doesn’t require dancing, winking, or mall appearances. And falling for the cutest, realest boy she’s ever met.

*summary taken from the Barnes and Noble website

(This book sounds super cute and I just found out about it. I totally love the car on the front cover, also! It's awesome.)

Poll a No-Go

:( I just found out that I can't change the size of the poll settings that I provided so the only one I could change it to would be the gray one and that seems kind of dull. I guess I'll just stick with the regular one! Sorry I wasted your time, you guys. *sniffles*

In other news, I should be getting another review up soon! :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter

Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter
by R.J. Anderson
5 out of 5 stars


The faeries of the Oak went through a terrible event called the Sundering but a hundred years later, none of the faeries know what it had been about. With the Oak’s population dwindling, Knife is appointed the Queen’s Hunter. Maybe she could find out what has caused the Silence that has been taking some many of the faeries’ lives and cure it. When she takes a mayor interest in humans, Knife visits the House and becomes friends with the teenager, Paul. No one knew of Knife and Paul’s friendship, but when Queen finds out, Knife has to make a difficult decision. But how could Knife hurt a human … she’s in love with?

Brilliantly written and marvelous with a mix of fantasy and reality, Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter rocks my socks! I dare say I enjoyed this more than any of the Harry Potter books. Author R.J. Anderson unfolds a world of magical creatures that are forbidden to have contact with humans. The dilemmas seemed real even though the main theory was bizarre. The unique characters caught my attention and kept it throughout the book. I loved it! Reading how Knife and Paul’s worlds intertwine was interesting and most of all, amazing. This book left me lying in bed with a smile on my face. : )

*book copy provided by HarperCollinsChildren's First Look

Monday, February 23, 2009

(Test Post)

This is a test post for a new kind of setting for polls:







What one do you think would be fun to have as the new poll setting? Or do you want to keep the regular one?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is where I share with you the books I've gotten in the mail or the library. Maybe you'll find a book you want to read along the way!

(idea by TheStorySiren)



What if ... everyone knew your name?

(A Choose Your Own Destiny Novel)
By Liz Ruckdeschel

Meet Haley Miller. She’s a 15-year-old girl of average height, average weight, and an average sense of style. Installed in her first public high school, Haley faces the toughest choices of her young life. And guess what? She’s all yours.

In this interactive novel, readers lead Haley through the halls of Hillsdale High for better or for worse. Until graduation do you part. Do you guide her away from the pitfalls of peer pressure? Or into the vortex of bad boys and parties? Send her to homecoming with the captain of the soccer team . . . or have her skip the dance to go on a road trip with the hot rebel. Give Haley a makeover or teach her to love herself the way she is. Pick which crowd she’ll hang with. Tell her how often to do her homework. And decide whether she drinks or inhales.

You determine her fortune. Her grades, her friends, her love life, her future. With Haley’s many positive traits, you should have no trouble achieving success . . . or will you? It’s all in the way you work, love, and play with Haley Miller, the girl with the most potential at Hillsdale High.

*summary taken from BN.com

(I didn't get any books in the mail this week! Darn. But I did borrow one from the library, as you can see. I always liked the Choose Your Own Adventure books but I think I'll like this series better because it's aimed more toward the girl audience.)

Contacting An Author

You have a favorite book. You have a favorite author who wrote that book. What made the author want to write it?

While contacting the author (preferably by the email provided on their website), make it short and sweet. Tell them how you enjoyed the book. If you were the author, wouldn't it be fun getting email like that?

If you'd like to interview them, either for your blog or a school project, ask them at the bottom of the email. (Ex: "I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions for a project that I am doing at school."

If they reply, ask them! It's really simple and fun to hear back from them. You'd be running around the house, saying, "Melissa Kantor sent me an email!" Or something like that.

Don't ask too many of "What inspired you?" questions because authors are asked that a lot and I'm sure that your favorite author would have answered them hundreds of times already. Keep the mood light and it will be more than just enjoyable! (It's exhilarating.)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Poll Winner

This week's poll was ...



On a cozy winter day ...

I watch Christmas movies
pray that it will get warmer
eat an ice cream cone
read a good book

And the winner is ...

read a good book!
(With 'eating an ice cream cone' close behind.)

I guess I'm not surprised, being surrounded by these bookworms and all. ;)

Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading are books that I randomly post that I highly recommend. If you are ever bored and need an idea of something to read, just type in 'Recommended Reading' in the search box and all of my random posts will show up.

Recommended Reading for the Preteen Boy Post #1

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

It's a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you're ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary. In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley's star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend's newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion.

Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl

Where did Roald Dahl get all of his wonderful ideas for stories? From his own life, of course! As full of excitement and the unexpected as his world-famous, bestselling books, Roald Dahl's tales of his own childhood are completely fascinating and fiendishly funny.

Mascot by Peter David

Josh Miller, sixth grader at Demarest Elementary School, has a secret. Everything that happens to Mascot, the superhero sidekick in the Captain Major comic books, also happens to Josh. So when Josh finds out that Mascot is slated to die in the next Captain Major adventure, he knows he has to do something—and fast! A budding comics artist and writer himself, Josh and his new friend, Kelsey (aka Large Lass), take off to find Stan Kirby, the creator of the Captain Major series, so they can save Mascot—and Josh's life.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is where I share with you a book that I am looking forward to reading when it is released.

(idea by Jill from Breaking the Spine)



Everything is Fine.
by Ann Dee Ellis
(publication date: March 1st, 2009)

Stuck at home caring for her severely depressed mother and abandoned by her father, Mazzy has only the day-to-day dramas of her neighborhood to keep her busy. But between flirting with the boy next door and worrying about the fact that she's flat-chested, Mazzy has to face the fact that her mom is emotionally paralyzed by a family tragedy. As readers delve into the story, they'll eventually discover what it was that tore Mazzy's family apart, and they'll see what it takes to put it back together.

Despite its serious subject matter, Mazzy brings humor to the trying age of adolescence and gives readers just the kind of awkward, troubled, and endearing character they will gladly embrace.

(This looks like a great book! And I really want to see what the "family tragedy" is. I can't wait for it to be released!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Behind the Pages



... with Melissa Kantor

Have you ever wondered what was happening behind the pages? Some of these questions may not be related to reading or writing but I wanted to know more about the author as a person.

Q: When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?

I kind of always knew I wanted to be a writer (I loved writing, even as a little kid). Then I got interested in other stuff and I became a teacher (I still teach middle and high school English), but I always loved writing. I became a professional writer when a friend of mine (who was an editor at Hyperion) said to me, "Write a YA book!" That book was "Confessions of a Not It Girl," and I've been writing ever since.

Q: What Disney princess would you like to be and why?

Most of the Disney princesses are a little passive and self-effacing for my taste (you'd give up your VOICE?! for a GUY?!). I'd like to read about the Disney princess who has a really cool life and a great job and awesome friends and she decides to marry (maybe a prince, maybe not) because he's funny and a great cook. I guess that story probably isn't going to get written, though, is it?

Q: How has being an author changed your life?

I get to write wonderful stories and to email with fans all over the world. It's the most wonderful way of earning a living (besides teaching) that I can imagine.

Q: What is your favorite soda?

I used to be a total Diet Pepsi girl, but now I order club soda with a splash of cranberry juice and a twist of lime. Try it!

Q: When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing with your free time?

I have three kids (!), one of whom is just two months old, so I don't actually have any free time. When I did, I liked talking on the phone and reading and going for runs.

Q: Do you have a favorite book, maybe from your childhood or teenage years?

"It's Okay if You Don't Love Me" by Norma Klein. But it's definitely PG-13. I also loved Deenie, by Judy Blume.

Q: What character from your books do you feel most attached to?

Each has something of me in her. I totally relate to Jan's feeling inferior to her best friend, to Lucy's feeling powerless in the face of her stepmother and to Jennifer's feeling she will never get over Max.

Q: Do you have a blog or a website?

(This) is my website, and in a couple of months, I'll have the first chapter of my forthcoming book "Girlfriend Material" on it.



Melissa Kantor is the author of If I Have a Wicked Stepmother Where’s My Prince? (*see my review here), Confessions of a Not-It Girl, and The Breakup Bible.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Shadowed Summer

Shadowed Summer
By Saundra Mitchell
4 of 5 stars


Ondine, Louisiana, according to their population sign, is the home of "346 good people and 3 cranky old coots" and the only thing interesting about this town is that a teenager, Elijah, disappeared in 1989. For years, Iris and her best friend, Collette, have played make-believe games to keep themselves from going crazy, but this summer, something seems to have changed. Suddenly, Collette is boy-crazy and all of their make-believe games need something extra. A love triangle, a forbidden love, and now even a witch or two pretending to use creepy magic. But then, Elijah starts to haunt Iris; his ghost follows and terrorizes her. All Iris and think is, why me?

Shadowed Summer scared me to death at times. I had to leave my light on at night for two nights in a row. It gave me goose bumps and made me look twice. I loved that part. The mystery behind the disappearance of '89 was fun to follow and it was especially interesting to find clues. Talking about the book in general, I feel really comfortable and would recommend it ... but I don't see why Elijah needed to turn out homosexual. It really ruined it for me and I don't see how I can overlook that. If you think you can over look that, this is a great book to creep you out of your skin.

and

(I can't really decide.)

*book copy provided by the author

Sunday, February 15, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is where I share with you the books I've gotten in the mail or the library. Maybe you'll find a book you want to read along the way!

(idea by TheStorySiren)



Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter
by R.J. Hunter

Deep inside the great Oak lies a dying faery realm, bursting with secrets instead of magic. Long ago the faeries mysteriously lost their magic. Robbed of their powers, they have become selfish and dull-witted. Now their numbers are dwindling and their very survival is at stake.

Only one young faery—Knife—is determined to find out where her people's magic has gone and try to get it back. Unlike her sisters, Knife is fierce and independent. She's not afraid of anything—not the vicious crows, the strict Faery Queen, or the fascinating humans living nearby. But when Knife disobeys the Faery Queen and befriends a human named Paul, her quest becomes more dangerous than she realizes. Can Knife trust Paul to help, or has she brought the faeries even closer to the brink of destruction?

Talented newcomer R. J. Anderson creates an extraordinary new fantasy world and weaves a gripping tale of lost magic, high adventure, and surprising friendship in which the fate of an entire realm rests on the shoulders of one brave faery rebel.

(I am actually really happy to get a small load this week. I don't have as much pressure to finish it. And, plus, this is a book I wanted to read for a while. You might recognize the synopsis. This book is called Knife in U.K.)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies

Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookie
By Erin Dionne
4 out of 5 stars


Celeste has always been called the Fat Girl, not only by the popular Lively and her antlike friends, but everyone knows she isn't the skinniest girl in the world. Celeste's best friend, Saundra, helped her get out of every bad situation, but now Saundra's gone to the other side; with the popular, pretty, matching-outfits crowd. What's more, Celeste's aunt enters her in the HuskyPeach pageant, a clothing company for plus-sized girls. Celeste is too afraid to back down but what will they call her at school now? There were many things that sounded appealing to Celeste about modeling, but models don't eat chocolate cookies.

Unique and splendid, this book catches the teenage girl audiences in more ways than one. The writing was simple and told only what needed to be mentioned. Each character's personality was intriguing and added more appeal to the story. There were parts that I didn't favor, due to Celeste's new found confidence. The story was interesting and explored the insecurities that most girls deal with, both teenage and preteen. I was expecting Celeste to find out that she was beautiful just the way she was but she had to lose weight to feel good about herself. Every way the story went, it was still a good book.

*book copy provided by BookDivas

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is where I share with you a book that I am looking forward to reading when it is released.

(idea by Jill from Breaking the Spine)



If I Stay
by Gayle Forman
(publication date: April 2, 2009)

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeenyear- old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she fi nds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make-and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

(I have seen this book before but never knew what it was about. Thanks to Barnes and Noble's website, I know have another book that I plan on reading.)

Poll Winner

This week's poll was ...

Which one?

pen
pencil
marker
crayon

And the winner is ...

pencil!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

So ... I finally got to watch it

So I finally got to watch this <- movie, City of Ember. It was ... good. Yes, I have found out that my expectations were a little too high, but that's just how it goes.

As everyone says, "The book is always better than the movie." In this case, that wasn't the whole truth.

From the beginning of the movie, I knew it wasn't going to be the same as the book which put me into a mood. The mood: distracted. The whole time, the book was going through my head and the only thing I could think of were all the things the directors and writers did wrong.

It was nothing like the book.

So I looked at it in a different angle.



Both movie and book were great, really, but just didn't go together.

The only things that were the same were a) the characters b) the setting c) the plot.

So, as you can tell, I have a lot of different feelings towards these subjects.

What I want to know is:

Did anyone else see the movie or read the book?

If not, what other movies were "distracting" because you read the book before you watched it?

*read my review of the fourth book of Ember here

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is where I share with you the books I've gotten in the mail or the library. Maybe you'll find a book you want to read along the way!

(idea by TheStorySiren)

Banana Splitsville
by Catherine Clark

Has he called? No.

I half expected to see him at Truth or Dairy today. He's sort of addicted to Coconut Fantasy Dreams. We both are. It was like . . . our drink.

I was all ready to give him the cold shoulder, easy to do when working around ice cream all day. I could give him a bad ice-cream headache, mix extra ice in his smoothie and freeze his brain.

Like he could be any colder.



Rocky Road Trip
by Catherine Clark

It was a zoo the day I left.

All I remember is pulling out of the driveway. I thought I was going to crumble into a hundred pieces.

I looked at Grant. He looked at me.

Mom hit reverse. It all seemed so tragic, like I was hipping off to war.

Still and all. A really, really dumb idea to come this far for college.

(I am so excited to read these! They are waiting patiently in my reading pile and once a few more books are read, BAM! They are in my hands and I am reading every word.)

*won books from Harmony Book Reviews

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Recommended Reading


Recommended Reading are books that I randomly post that I highly recommend. If you are ever bored and need an idea of something to read, just type in 'Recommended Reading' in the search box and all of my random posts will show up.

Recommend Reading for the Teenage Girl (Post #1)

Read my review here.


The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
Read FernFolio's review here.


Bloomability by Sharon Creech
Read Jocelyn's review here.


The Blind Faith Hotel by Pamela Todd
Read my review here.


Freefall by Anna Levine
Read my review here.


and ... *drum roll*


The City of Ember series by Jeanne DuPrau


The City of Ember #1 (Read Jaff03's review here.)

The People of Sparks #2 (Read Amy's review here.)

The Prophet of Yonwood #3 (Read Jonathan's review here.)

The Diamond of Darkhold #4 (Read my review here.)

Read one person's review of all of them here.

The Name of This Book is Secret

(I was looking through all the reviews I've written and found one that I have never posted. This was one of my first reviews. This was such a great book, I can't believe I've never said anything about it on my blog.)

A review left unread:

The Name of This Book is Secret
By “Pseudonymous Bosch”
5 out of 5 stars


Not knowing a secret is just about the worst thing in the world.
No, I can think of one thing worse.
Knowing a secret.
Read on, if you must.
But, remember, I warned you.


Eleven-year-olds Cassandra and Max-Ernest found a box, a secret box, which was titled (or so it said) The Symphony of Smells, containing vials. The box was connected to a mysterious magician’s mysterious disappearance during a mysterious fire. It’s all so mysterious! Cass and Max find themselves on a trail of secret riddles and secret rooms… and the most important thing of all: The Secret.

Author “Pseudonymous Bosch’s” unique voice and perspective shows through this one-of-a-kind read. When I first picked up this book, I thought that I knew what to expect, such as a copycat of Lemony Snicket’s way of writing. But I was pleasantly surprised to see that Pseudonymous has a voice of his own.

The way this story is written is not only mysterious, unique, and secret, but it was enjoyable to the very last sentence. But in that last sentence, there is another mystery… that you can find out only if you read the sequel.

*book copy provided by BookDivas


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince?


If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince?
By Melissa Kantor
5 out of 5 stars

ALL AGES 12+

If Lucy Norton has two evil stepsisters and a wicked stepmother, where’s her prince? She keeps telling herself that her fairy tale will involve the popular Connor Pearson. Then she finds herself noticing, Connor Pearson knows who I am. Connor takes an interest in her and now everyone at Glen Lake knows her. Some even become her friend. With prom coming up, Lucy starts to realize … maybe Connor isn’t the one she wants, maybe it’s that quite boy in her art class. Trying to forget about Sam with one of Connor’s perfect kisses, Lucy finally knows. But can she still get a happy ending like Cinderella when her life is in pieces?

If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince? is now one of my favorite books. Author Melissa Kantor’s understanding of the life of a teenage girl is brilliant and accurate in so many ways. The writing is more than just phenomenal, it’s … the best. The ending was predictable, but at the same time, surprising. The plot and characters were simple and developed throughout the story. Filled with humor and wonderful references, this book is on the top of my Recommendation List. If you’re 13 and want to read something fun or 30 and want to relax with a good read, pick up this book. I guarantee you’ll love it.

(If you find a copy of this book, make sure to look at page 178. It’s one of my favorites.)

*book copy bought from Barnes and Noble



Poll Winner

Last week's poll was ...

What kind of music is the best?

country
instrumental
rock and pop
classical



And the winner is ...

country

(with rock and pop close behind)



Thank you to everyone who participated.

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday

is where I share with you a book that I am looking forward to reading when it is released.

(idea by Jill from Breaking the Spine)




The Thirteenth Child
by Patricia C. Wrede
Publication date: April 15, 2009

Eff was born a thirteenth child. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. This means he's supposed to possess amazing talent — and she's supposed to bring only bad things to her family and her town. Undeterred, her family moves to the frontier, where her father will be a professor of magic at a school perilously close to the magical divide that separates settlers from the beasts of the wild.

With wit and wonder, Patricia Wrede creates an alternate history of westward expansion that will delight fans of both J. K. Rowling and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is where I share with you the books I've gotten in the mail or the library. Maybe you'll find a book you want to read along the way!

(idea by TheStorySiren)


Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies
by Erin Dionne
Publication date: Febraury 2009

Thirteen-year-old Celeste Harris is no string bean, but comfy sweatpants and a daily chocolate cookie suit her just fine. Her under-the-radar lifestyle could have continued too, if her aunt hadn't entered her in the HuskyPeach Modeling Challenge. To get out of it, she's forced to launch Operation Skinny Celeste-because, after all, a thin girl can't be a fat model! What Celeste never imagined was that losing weight would help her gain a backbone . . . or that all she needed to shine was a spotlight.

A hilarious debut featuring friendship, family, mean girls and even celebrity crushes, Celeste's story is a delicious treat that doesn't add a pound.

(This book sounds so cute and a lot of people have been talking about it, so I decided to get it.) *I got this book from BookDivas.





Shadowed Summer
by Saundra Mitchell
Publication date: February 2009


Iris is ready for another hot, routine summer in her small Louisiana town, hanging around the Red Stripe grocery with her best friend, Collette, and traipsing through the cemetery telling each other spooky stories and pretending to cast spells. Except this summer, Iris doesn’t have to make up a story. This summer, one falls right in her lap.

Years ago, before Iris was born, a local boy named Elijah Landry disappeared. All that remained of him were whispers and hushed gossip in the church pews. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she’s certain it’s the ghost of Elijah. What really happened to him? And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris to come back to?

(I heard about this book on AuthorsNow and I was very intrigued. There was also something that I found very interesting. The author likes ghost hunting! In my opinion, that is really cool!) *I got this book from the author.