Friday, October 29, 2010

Book Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Title: Paranormalcy
Author: Kiersten White
Genre: Paranormal Fiction, Teen Fiction
Publication Date: August 31, 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN-13 Book: 9780061985843
Source: Purchased personal copy for review.

Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1)Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Evie wants nothing more than to be a normal teenage girl, but she works for IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency), an international organization that tries to control the activities of various types of paranormals, vampires, werewolves, mermaids, fairies, hags, etc... She is their secret weapon, because unlike normal humans, Evie has the unique ability to see through paranormals’ glamours. When a never before seen shapeshifting paranormal breaks into the IPCA to get information and paranormals all over the world begin dying mysteriously Evie knows something sinister is going on, but the IPCA is determined to keep her in the dark. She will have to use both her heart and her head to save the lives of those she cares about.

There have been a lot of paranormal fiction books flooding the market of late, but Kiersen White’s debut novel took me by surprise. It is not what I expected, in fact it was better. I loved her originality and Evie’s unique voice. I loved the action and the surprisingly quick pace of the book.

Evie’s character reminded me a little of Buffy the Vampire Slayer at times, cocky and brash at times but wishing she was a normal girl who could live a normal life in the normal world. I also loved Lend, both for being an artist, and for being a normal young man with paranormal skills.

Evie’s desires contrasted to the sterile environment of the IPCA center. Her world was a lot messier than the neat and organized world the IPCA wished to represent. Ultimately she was a lovable and extremely likable narrator. I loved that she used the word “bleep” instead of swearing, and the explanation for that was endearing.

The mystery and action propels you through the novel and keeps you reading until the very last page. I look forward to reading more from White in the future. The sequel, Supernaturally, is due out in September 2011. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

View all my reviews

Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson Book Trailer

I know I mostly focus on YA books here, but for the last several years I have been anxiously awaiting the ending to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Series.  With the next book, Towers of Midnight, due out on November 2nd, we will be one step closer to the final installment.  For any of you fellow fans out there, check out this great trailer for Towers of Midnight!

Follow Friday!

Come and join the fun of the Friday Follow hosted by Parajunkee's View. You can find the instructions and rules on Parajunkee's Follow Friday post.   Happy Hopping! 

Question of the Week: 

If you have, or would have a daughter, what book would you want your daughter to read?

The one book that really hooked me on reading was Tamora Pierce's book In the Hand of the Goddess. For a younger teen girl or a tween this one might be a little too mature, but her newer series that starts with First Test has all the excitement and might be better suited to a younger audience.  I love all of Tamora's books that take place in the Tortall Universe, and I love how she has strong powerful female characters.  A few other good "girl power" books are Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Hunger Games by Collins, A Wrinkle in Time by L'Engle, and the adult novel by Laurie R. King, The Beekeeper's Apprentice.

In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness, #2)First Test (Protector of the Small, #1)

Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms, #1)The Hunger GamesA Wrinkle in Time (Time, #1)

The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday Thoughts: Why I Love This Time of Year (Creepy Books Edition)

I honestly don't know what it is about fall and especially Halloween, but it always puts me in the mood for some good (and creepy) books.  I usually spend the entire month of October soaking up all the creepy books I can get.  To date one of my favorites is an old (and unfortunately out of print) title called Trick or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick.

Trick or Treat

I love the creepy old house, and the feeling that someone is watching her from the woods and oh yes, the creepy phone calls too.  Not to mention a dead girl that looks just like our main character!  To me this book was addictive and is still one of my favorite Halloween reads.

Every year I go out and seek books about ghosts, goblins, witches, and things that go bump in the night.  I'll admit, I seem to prefer books where what seems to be supernatural can be logically explained.  I especially love creepy houses.  Still if a book has the right mood, it is sure to end up on my booklist for fall.  Here are a couple of my favorites from the past:

House of Many ShadowsThe HistorianEndless Fear

These are a few that I have read and had a lot of fun with.  I'll admit, they might not be for everyone, but we all have our scary preferences.  We are all scared of different things.  And yes they are oldies--but it is good to look into those older books from time to time. 

So a question to you. What is your favorite scary Halloween type book? Please share, I am always looking for a good scare!

Another thing I love about fall is seeing all the little ones dress up and now dressing up my own little one.  Here he is from last year: 

Happy Halloween and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday: The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  WOW spotlights forthcoming titles that we absolutely can't wait to read.

This is unusual for me, but I am finding myself craving some realistic fiction.  So my pick for WOW this week is reflecting that.  This book is one that I have heard a lot about and can't wait to read.

The Mockingbirds (The Mockingbirds, #1)

Title: The Mockingbirds
Author: Daisy Whitney
ISBN:  9780316090537
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 2, 2010

Description From the LB Teens:

Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it.

For more information visit The Mockingbirds at LB Teens.

Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Paranormal Fiction, Teen Fiction
Publication Date: March 2, 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins (print) / Books On Tape Listening Library (audio CD)
ISBN-13 Book: 9780061726804
ISBN-13 Book on CD: 9780307746856 (10 sound discs)
Source: Checked out both audio CD and book from local public library.

Before I FallBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Samantha didn't know that Friday, February 12th was going to be the last day of her life. She also doesn't know why she is being forced to relive the day over and over again. But given the chance, wouldn't you try to change that fateful ending?

This is a book that begs to be talked about. I very seldom give 5 star reviews, but in this case I feel that it is absolutely deserved. By the end of chapter one I was dying to talk about this book with someone who has read it. Unfortunately, that didn't leave me with many choices locally--since even my fellow YA readers haven't read this book yet, but I sincerely hope they do soon!

Oliver has created a flawed yet likable heroine in Samantha Kingston. She is a girl who was once picked on, but is now popular, who does everything required to fit in. She is a girl who holds power in her school and knows it. She is also a girl who has set herself up for a terrible fall. Friday, February 12th is the last day of her life, and she will have to live it again and again until she gets it right.

I started this book on audio, and while it isn't unusual for me to switch back in forth between audio and the printed version, it is unusual for me to get so wrapped up in a book that I set everything aside to finish the book in one night. Yesterday afternoon when I got out of my car after I got home from work, I was only about 30% through the book, by the time I went to bed I had finished the book. In fact I wouldn't go to bed until I finished. I had to know how the book was going to end.

Don't get me wrong, the audio version of this book is extremely well done. It is narrated by Sarah Drew and produced by Books on Tape. Drew does a great job with the voices with the possible exception of the teachers Mr. Otto and Ms. Winters who sound a little too over the top. Despite that, this is a great audio book, but I couldn't wait to finish the book so I picked up the hardcover and finished it in one sitting.

I admit, I sound like I am gushing, but this is a book that really makes think about your actions and what you would do if you could live the day over. It was fascinating and gripping. I think Jay Asher quote on the cover says it best "You'll have no choice but to tear through this book." I am only sorry I waited so long to get to it.

View all my reviews

Saturday, October 23, 2010

You Choose I Review Is Back!

I have a ton of books on my TBR shelf and I need your help!  Help me knock one of these books off of the shelf by reading it in the month of November.  Vote for your favorite and suggest new titles for next month in the comments!

Which of these books from my TBR shelf would you like me to read and review in November?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Follow Friday: 10/22/10

Come and join the fun of the Friday Follow hosted by Parajunkee's View. You can find the instructions and rules on Parajunkee's Follow Friday post.   Happy Hopping! 

This week, Rachel at Parajunkee's View asks:  What are you currently reading?  Basically what book is that?

Right now I am currently reading several books.  I tend to start multiple books at a time but focus on one or two--I guess I am a little ADD about my reading.

I am currently listening to Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver on CD.
Before I Fall

I am currently reading the following titles:

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1)

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2)

Tyger, Tyger by Kersten Hamilton (on my nook)
Tyger Tyger (Goblin Wars, #1)

Matched by Ally Condie Book Trailer

I absolutely can't wait for this book to come out. I was so excited to read the ARC version, and even though I have already read it, I can't wait to own my own copy. If you want to know more you can check out my review. I love this book, and this trailer is great. Check out this trailer and then add Matched to your to read list!

Book Review: Torment by Lauren Kate

Title: Torment
Author: Lauren Kate
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: September 28, 2010
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (print) / Books On Tape Listening Library (audio CD)
ISBN-13 Book: 9780385739146
ISBN-13 Book on CD: 9780375989513
Source: Checked out both audio CD and book from local public library.

Torment (Fallen, #2)Torment by Lauren Kate

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After the events at Sword and Cross in Lauren Kate's first book Fallen Lucinda Price is spirited away by Daniel and Mr. Cole to a new boarding school on the west coast called Shoreline. Cam and Daniel have called a truce while they try to track down the Outcasts, a group of immortals who are hunting Luce. Meanwhile Luce attempts to rediscover her past and find out what is really going on.

This was a good follow up to Fallen. It takes place immediately after the end of the first book, and you must read the first book to be able to follow what is going on. The book is well written and Kate is a master at weaving mood into a story. I do like her characters, and she does know how to spin a good mystery and build suspense.

That said, this book was another one of those middle of the series books that spends its entire time building up to the next book in the series. Not much happens at Shoreline. Luce learns more about the shadows (a.k.a. announcers) and learns how to manipulate them, but she doesn't learn anything about what is really going on and why so many people want to kill her. She spends much of the novel pondering her relationship with Daniel, her past lives, and wondering why her feelings for him are so strong, even though he can't seem to trust her with any information that would save her life. In the end the book was just plain frustrating. I can see why Luce doubts Daniel and it makes perfect sense, and I did like how she started to see other options out there. I just wish we could finally get a glimpse into what is really going on in this series.

The ending has promise, and leaves you wondering what will happen in the next book. Despite going nowhere in this book, I have hope that the next one might give the reader some of the answers they are yearning for. Will I read the next book? Probably, but I hope it delivers.

The audio book version of this novel produced by Listening Library is definitely the way to go. It consists of 8 CDs and is 9 hrs and 48 minutes long. Justine Eyre returns to narrate this sequel and does an outstanding job. At times I think it was her narration alone, that kept me interested in the book.

View all my reviews

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Under My Skin by Judith Graves Character Interview (Teen {Book} Scene Book Tours)

Under My Skin (Skinned, #1)

Welcome! Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Eryn, the main character from Judith Graves' wonderful novel Under My Skin.  After her parents disappearance Eryn is sent to Redgrave to lay low while the council investigates their disappearance, but lying low in Redgrave is a hard thing to do when kids are being turned into werewolves and there may be a vampire in the mix.  Eryn knows something is up in Redgrave, and vampires and werewolves aren't the most dangerous things in town.

Eryn, I understand that you are half wolven. For those who don't know, can you explain what that means and tell us how you differ from werewolves?

Sure thing, Melissa. We’re quite different beasties. In my world, werewolves are made, not born, like wolven. Werewolves are victims, humans “turned” by an evil master (it’s all very Star Wars, really) who calls on some pretty dark magic to steal their souls and make them their personal (man-eating) slaves. Wolven are natural shapeshifters. They prefer to live as wolves but will assume human form when it serves their purpose.

What is the best thing about being half wolven?

Enhanced strength, night vision, ability to heal lickity split. There are lots of “best” things – well, they seem that way at first.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?

Easy, I’m way too tall and I could use some help in the boobage department. Hmmm….I just had a thought. What’s the point of being a shapeshifter if you can’t zoop yourself up in your human form? Seriously. *shakes head*

If you had one wish, what would you wish for?

I’d wish for my parents back.

Who is the one person you feel you can really trust? If anyone.

I’ll go with no one should trust me. I’m part human / wolven, and, thanks to my father’s drugs, I’m part something a lot worse. I want friends, but I also want them for dinner. So, trust issues? Yeah, I guess I have a few of those, but not in the usual way. 

Thank you Eryn for stopping by!  

You can find out more about Judith Graves' book Under My Skin at or by visiting the next stop on the Teen {Book} Scene Tour of Under My Skin at Girls in The Stacks tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White


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

Anyone  can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your  current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2)  “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what  you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book  for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so  that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they  like your teasers!

Here is my teaser for today:

Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1)

"I hate the vamp jobs.  They think they're so suave.  It's not enough for them to slaughter and eat you like a zombie would. No, they want it to be all sexy, too." Paranormalcy by Kiersten White  pg. 2. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Follow Friday!

Come and join the fun of the Friday Follow hosted by Parajunkee's View. You can find the instructions and rules on Parajunkee's Follow Friday post.   Happy Hopping! 

This week, Rachel at Parajunkee's View asks:  What is your reading suggestion this week?

In October I always find myself seeking books that put me in the spirit and the mood of Halloween and the fall season.  Each year I go on an extensive book hunt for anything that feels like Halloween.  One of my favorites, by Richie Tankersley Cusick titled Trick or Treat, is now a little tricky to find since it is no longer in print, but you might be able to pick it up at your local library.

Trick or Treat

This year though, I have found another book that filled that need.  Debut author Brenna Yovanoff has published a book that sets the mood perfectly.  It is called The Replacement and if you haven't read it yet you are in for a treat.  You can read my review of The Replacement here.

The Replacement

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick


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

Anyone  can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your  current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2)  “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what  you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book  for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so  that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they  like your teasers!

Here is my teaser for today:

Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2)

"As if to prove just how practiced he was, the young man aimed the gun without a single beat of hesitation, and Harrison found himself staring into the barrel of the weapon. The light of the fired shot flared, and it was the last image he saw." Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick  pg. 9. (Excerpt taken from the ARC version.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Blog Survey and Exciting New Changes Coming Soon!

Finally, the library move is over and so are my committee duties for the year.  It was kind of ironic that both ended in the same weekend, but hey, they are over and now I can start dedicating more time to blogging.  Hopefully, I won't be so exhausted now, I can get back into the reading groove too!

Now I did mention some changes!  First on the upper left had corner of my blog you might have noticed that I have a badge for The Teen Book Scene author tours.  I am going to be a stop on some upcoming book tours!  I can't tell you how excited I am about this, and so far I have had a lot of fun preparing to be a part of this.  What this means for you:  exciting new books, author interviews, guest posts, and character interviews.  I can't wait to start.  My first post for tours is scheduled for next week, so tune in to see what book is on tour!

The next new changes will depend on what you want.  I really want to hear from my readers.  I do love your opinions, and love to hear what you think. so if you can take a moment and fill out the survey below, I would greatly appreciate it!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Library's Grand Opening is Today

After a year of running a main library out of an elementary school, we are finally ready to open our newly remodeled building to the public today. We open our doors to the public at 2 pm and we are finally ready to show off all the hard work that went into this building. We spent that last three weeks moving books, and even though we still aren't quite finished we are going ahead with the grand opening. Three weeks of moving has left everyone sore, but we are finally in the home stretch. I hope the public likes the new building and can appreciate all the wonderful seating and new study rooms we provided.

Hopefully as we settle in, things will get back to normal--including my blogging. Right now, I can't tell you how exhausted I am, but I can't wait for things to get back to normal. I am currently working on a couple of new ideas for the blog and of course I am still reading. I started Torment by Lauren Kate on Friday, and have been reading some other books as well.  Hopefully this week I will be able to get back to some regular postings!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Book Review: Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

Title: Guardian of the Dead
Author: Karen Healey
Genre: Teen Fiction, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: April 1, 2010
Publisher Book: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN Book: 9780316044301
Pages: 352
Publisher CD Book: Recorded Books
ISBN CD: 9781436197106 (9 Sound Discs)
Source: Checked out the book and book on CD from my local library.

Guardian of the DeadGuardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ellie Spencer, is just an ordinary 17 year-old girl until one day her eyes are opened to the magic of her world, and she discovers that her friends and her very future may be at risk. When a string of brutal killings where the murderers remove the eyes of their victims draw closer and closer to those around Ellie, she knows that she must risk everything to protect those she loves.

This book is a tough one for me to review. It really had the potential to be a really great read, but unfortunately I just felt like it took too long for me to get in the story.

The beginning of the novel had the feel of every other paranormal fiction novel out there. It didn't have anything in the beginning that set it apart from the numerous novels in the genre out there already. Fortunately, for the reader, this first impression turns out to be false. Once you progress deeper into the novel you are introduced to the Mãori legends, and traditions which adds a richness that makes this novel distinctive from others in the genre. Unfortunately, it just took too long to get there.

Ellie is an appealing character. You love her for both her strengths and her flaws. She is a good friend and seeks to protect those she loves, and is very determined. She isn't perfect, but that is what makes her so likable.

Healey's imagery is wonderful. She knows how to make you feel that you are right there in the novel. The combination of modern New Zealand and the ancient Mãori mythology makes this novel so rich and fascinating. I loved learning more about the myths and the comparison to the Greek and Roman traditions was a stroke of genius.

The audiobook, narrated by Saskia Maarleveld and produced by Recorded Books is superbly done. Maarleveld is a believable narrator, and does a nice job with all of the voices. Without the audiobook, I think I might have put the novel down before I got to the good parts of the story.

Overall this is a good book, but the slow beginning takes a lot to get past. Once you get past the beginning and the story is revealed to you, you are hooked and have to know how it ends. If you have difficulty reading books with slower beginnings, you might want to try the audio version--it worked for me. I am glad I read this book, I just wish the beginning had moved a little faster. I loved the mythology, and felt that the mythology in itself is a great reason to read this book. I am glad I stuck with it to finish the story.

View all my reviews

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Thanks for Hanging In There!

I want to thank everyone for being patient with me during the last few weeks.  It is really crazy and really stressful moving a main library, and unfortunately it hasn't left me much time to either read or blog.  Our Grand Opening is Sunday the 10th, and after that I hope to be back to blogging on a regular basis.  I miss reading, reviewing, and most of all I miss you all.  I can't wait to get back to blogging, and hopefully improving some things about my site.  Moving books handful by handful gives me a lot of time to think, and I hope I can use some of my ideas to improve my blog.  In the near future, I plan to post a readers survey, so I can see how you feel about my blog and what you would like to see more of.  I can't wait to get back in the game again.  Thank you again for being patient with me--only one more week to go!

I am currently reading:

Flygirl by Sherri Smith

I am currently listening to:

The Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey
Guardian of the Dead

The book I just got in the mail:

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima (I can't wait to pick this one up!)
The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms, #2)


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