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20 Oct

So, I suck. I know I totally flubbed this week’s new releases and next week’s probably won’t happen, either. I’ve been working way too much leading up to my much needed VACATION to do more than write the book review I just published. And, yeah, since I’ll be on vacation all next week, I probably won’t be doing a new releases update for October 23, either. So, sorry. Sorry, sorry, sorry. Sorry!


3 Oct

So, I spent a ridiculous amount of hours pouring over publisher websites to try to get as many different new releases in my weekly update this week and it took me FOREVER. I have a very limited time frame in which I can work on this blog (I still have another review to write! Amidst working seven days a week and job applications and writing my own novel and having a life and ack! Not enough time! I need a clone!), and so I started thinking: maybe my weekly update will only include the books I am at least marginally interested in reading? There are SO many books coming out each week, and while I wanted my updates to be as thorough as possible, I just don’t think I have the time. So, I thought that if I apply my own filter and tell you what I’m interested in, maybe that will suffice. What say you, dear readers? More new releases or new releases a la my interests and discernment?

New this week! And some other thoughts on life.

16 Sep

So, it’s come to my attention that I don’t post enough. When I first started this blog, I thought I would just post a review whenever I happened to read a YA book, which ends up being roughly every month or so, which just isn’t enough. How to remedy this? I probably won’t read more than one YA book a month since I am an adult and do like to occasionally read books meant for grown-ups; for example, right now I am ALMOST DONE with Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and holy cow it’s amazing but it’s taken me a couple weeks to plow through 540 pages of tiny typeset for adults. I also decided that, while I’m sure EVERYONE is DYING to hear my long-winded, snotty ex-English major reviews, people might want a little more. Some spice, some fluff, some little slurps of juice to hold you over until I wax snarky on whatever teen book is just waiting for me to devour it.

My point being, I decided I’m going to start doing a weekly post on new books for the coming week and, because I am a librarian, readers advisory booklists. So, if there are any themes or read alikes you want to know about, send me an email (contact info in my “about” section) or post a comment, I’d love to hear from my readers!


Title: Because it is My Blood
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genre: crime drama, dystopia, romance
Blurb: Since her release from Liberty Children’s Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It’s a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve–and her heart–will be tested as never before.
Excitement Factor: Perhaps, if I ever get around to reading the first book, All These Things I’ve Done.

Title: Burn for Burn
Author: Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: contemporary, chick lit, drama
Blurb: Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes—and three girls secretly plotting revenge. None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together…anything is possible. With an unlikely alliance in place, there will be no more “I wish I’d said…” or “If I could go back and do things differently…” These girls will show Jar Island that revenge is a dish best enjoyed together.
Excitement Factor: Nope.

Title: Glass Heart
Author: Amy Garvey
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Blurb:  Wren can do things that other people can only dream of. Make it snow on a clear, crisp day. Fly through an abandoned tunnel. Bring a paper bird to life. Wren knows her abilities are tinged with danger—knows how easy it is to lose control—but she can’t resist the intoxicating rush. And now that she has Gabriel by her side, someone who knows what she can do—what she has done—she finally feels free to be herself. But as Wren explores the possibilities of her simmering powers, Gabriel starts pushing her away. Telling her to be careful. Telling her to stop. The more he cautions her, the more determined Wren becomes to prove that she can handle things on her own. And by the time she realizes that Gabriel may be right, it could be too late to bring him back to her side
Excitement Factor: Perhaps, if I ever get around to reading the first book, Cold Kiss.

Title: Ten
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Horror, Suspense, Mystery
Blurb:  It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—three days on Henry Island at an exclusive house party. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their own reasons for wanting to be there, which involve their school’s most eligible bachelor, T. J. Fletcher, and look forward to three glorious days of boys, bonding, and fun-filled luxury. But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine. Suddenly, people are dying, and with a storm raging outside, the teens are cut off from the rest of the world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for three days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?
Excitement Factor: Maybe.

Title: The Crown of Embers
AuthorRae Carson
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: Fantasy
Blurb: Elisa is a hero. She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country’s ruler should be secure. But it isn’t.Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from both foreign realms and within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled. To conquer the power she bears once and for all, Elisa must follow the trail of long-forgotten–and forbidden–clues from the deep, undiscovered catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her goes a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man who–despite everything–she is falling in love with. If she’s lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.
Excitement Factor: Perhaps, if I ever get around to reading the first book, The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Blurb: Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
Excitement factor: OMG.

Title: What’s Left of Me
Author: Kat Zhang
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Blurb: Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else–two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t… For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet…for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.
Excitement Factor: Buzz buzz buzz! This freshman offering has been generating some talk. And, psst, I’m reading my very own ARC right now!

So I was on a podcast with some famous people.

15 Sep

I’m not sure why it never occurred to me to post this here, but uh…better late than never? A couple months ago my good friend Julia Pistell invited me to be a guest on Literary Disco, a bookish podcast she does with Rider Strong (yes, THAT Rider Strong) and Tod Goldberg to talk about books for young folks, being a librarian, and one of my favorite books ever, Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach MeI was hella nervous to be doing my first ever podcast (isn’t hearing one’s recorded voice always just the worst?) with someone whose face I had taped up on my wall when I was thirteen, but overall I think it turned out mighty fine. In retrospect I wish I had chosen a different, weirder book that answered the second part of Rider’s challenge a bit better, but what can you do. I got caught up in ye old QUALITY question, especially after Julia asked me to choose the best book with the best writing,  and When You Reach Me is probably one of the highest quality kids’ books I’ve read in, well, ever. So, here it is. Not 100% about YA lit but I do talk about it a bit. Have a listen if you so choose, and please share your thoughts!

P.S. Now you all know my last name! Horrors.

Literary Disco Episode 10

The Crucial First Sentence

18 Aug

So, I’m working on a new post. I know it’s been a while. I honestly don’t understand how some of these book reviewers pump out a book review a week or more. At the end of a long work day sometimes the very last thing I want to be doing is sitting down to yet another computer and writing. Plus, you know, I have a life. Double plus, I am a perfectionist and obsess over each and every post for an inappropriate number of hours before making it public. But worry not, dear readers, whomever you may be. I am working on a new post, and I’m going to try something new. You see, I think the first sentence (or two) of a novel is really crucial. A well-written first sentence sets the tone for the rest of the novel, hooks the reader, can even help you overlook later bad writing (or is that just me?). So, I’m going to start each post, from now on, with the first sentence of the novel I’m reviewing. While I hammer out this next review for Kristen Cashore’s Bitterblue, here are some of my favorite first sentences from the teen books I have sitting on my shelves:

“The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say.”
~Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go

“The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.” ~Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

“My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die.” ~Melina Marchetta, Jellicoe Road

“Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time thinking about death.” ~John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.” ~M.T. Anderson, Feed

How about you? What are some of your favorite first sentences?

Must love (teen) books.

21 Feb

So, there are about one million and a half book blogs out there, so I figured, why not! I’ll make another one. Contrary to a friend’s advice, I am not going to make my book blog unique by doing nude video reviews in which I rate books with varying degrees of my exposed body. Funny as it would be to give a book “two tits out,” I do like being employed in a capacity that involves working with youth, which means I’m going to have to rely on my witty and unique voice to win me some readers. Plus, you know, blackmailing my friends into promoting me and stuff.

Why should anyone care what I think about a book, ever? Well, you shouldn’t, but! As a librarian I make a living from engaging with the wide world of bookwormdom, I read a shit ton, I write a shit ton, I have a degree in English,  and I just plain like writing about books. In other words, I’ve spent enough of my life thinking and talking about books to make what I believe to be valid judgments of other people’s work, and I don’t really care whether any of you anonymous readers agree with me. OR DO I???

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