Thursday, February 28, 2013

Booking Through Thursday #1 - What are you reading?

This is a weekly meme hosted by Booking Through Thursday, where we pose a bookish question and post our responses. Please feel free to leave a link to your own post in the comments section and let me know if you are a new follower - I would be happy to follow you back!

This week's question is one that I ask people quite often:

What are you reading right now? And, is it good? Would you recommend it? How did you choose it?

I've got a few different books going right now...#1 is Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. It seems like everyone and their sister has read this book but me. Since the movie has hit the theaters, that was the incentive I needed to finally get around to reading it. I want to take my daughters to go see it, but I always like to read the book first! I'm about 400 pages in, and it's okay, but I'm not in love with it. I would recommend it to those who like witch stories, and I would probably recommend it more to my middle school and junior high students than to adults. What I really like about it, is that (at least so far) there is nothing in it that would prevent me from allowing my 11 year old bookworm to read it!

#2 is The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielson. I am actually listening to it on CD. I had just heard about it, and picked it up because I am trying to read more "boy-friendly" books for my students' sake. The trouble is, I haven't really had the chance to listen to it for awhile, as all my drives are pretty short, and my kids don't like listening to my books when they are in the car. So, it's taking me FOREVER to get through. I think I am just going to have to pick up the actual book and finish reading it the "old-fashioned" way. I am really enjoying it, and it is definitely one that I will be recommending, especially to my middle school boys!

#3 is Me, Him, Them, and It by Caela Carter. I received this e-ARC from netgalley. I have always loved books about teen pregnancy, so it caught my fancy. I'm only about 20% into it, but it is good so far. Definitely one for older kids though...I could not put this in our middle school library.

Now, I'd love to hear what you all are reading and how you like it!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #1

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that showcases books that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week, I'm choosing to showcase:

You Know What You Have to Do by Bonnie Shimko
Publication Date: March 26, 2013
From Goodreads:
"This quirky, appealing YA novel turns formulaic teen fiction on its head as funny, feisty fifteen year-old Mary-Magdalene Feigenbaum (otherwise known as Maggie) suddenly faces more than the usual typical YA concerns: a voice in her head that is telling her to kill people. Not just anyone—each time the target is someone who has done something terrible to a person Maggie cares for. You know what you have to do, the voice commands. Maggie struggles to resist, but the voice is relentless.

With rising suspense, this story of psychological horror introduces a narrator whose own unique voice and irreverent humor are unforgettable—an unlikely hero fighting a desperate battle against incomprehensible evil."
It sounds a little bit scarier than the books I usually choose to read, but I think it sounds really interesting! And I'm always up for reading books with a psychological element to them. 

To add to your goodreads list, click here. To order from Amazon, click here. If you order it on Amazon now, the kindle edition is only $3.99, and will be available right on the release date! That's a really great price!

So, what book are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Top 10 Tuesday - Authors on my "Auto Buy" list

This week we're talking about those authors that we automatically want to go out and buy their next book - regardless of what it's about! The authors that we stalk online for news of their next great book. Here are mine, in no particular order:

1.) Ellen Hopkins - author of Crank, Glass, Fallout, Impulse, Tricks, Perfect, Tilt, and more.

I have read every single one of her books! Including her adult novel Triangles. She is the author who introduced me to the world of novels in verse. I never would have thought that I would like reading in verse, but she proved me wrong! Her writing is beautiful, deep, and her novels are full of gripping, intricate plots. I am eagerly looking forward to her next adult novel, Collateral!

2.) Chris Colfer - author of Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell and Struck by Lightning.

This guy....He is a fabulous actor, singer, dancer, director, and now author (and look how cute he is!). He just has it all! His first book, Landing Stories: The Wishing Spell, which was written for the middle grade audience, was such a beautifully written fairy tale. It just made me feel all warm and happy inside! I am eagerly looking forward to the second book in the series!

3.) John Green - author of The Fault in Our Stars, An Abundance of Katherines, Looking for Alaska, and more.

I think this guy is probably showing up on a LOT of lists! His writing style is so unique. He manages to write books that really punch you in the gut with emotion, but at the same time, he really incorporates a sense of humor. The Fault in Our Stars will ALWAYS be one of my all time favorite books. And because of this, I will continue to stalk John Green for his next great novel!

4.) Jacqueline Woodson - author of Beneath a Meth Moon, After Tupac & D Foster, Feathers, Show Way, and lots more.

I have loved every book I have read by this talented woman! Her books are primarily about young people dealing with difficult situations. She has a beautiful, poetic writing style that I truly enjoy. I still haven't read all of her books, because there are SO many, but I am working on it - and I will be on the lookout for more!

5.) Carrie Ryan - author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Dead Tossed Waves,  and Dark and Hollow Places

The Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy is one of my all time favorie series EVER. And that's saying something! Before reading this series, I would have told you that I would NEVER read zombie books...didn't think it was my cup of tea. Well, guess what? I was WRONG! Carrie Ryan opened a whole new undead world to me, and I love her for it! Oh, and I have met Carrie in person...she is fab.u. lous! Sweet and funny...yep, can't wait to see what she comes out with next!
6.) Stephanie Perkins - author of Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door.

Though she only has 2 books published so far (with a third coming out this year - YAY!), they were so wonderful, I know that she will be on my "automatic buy" list from now on. These 2 books made me so happy - they are just those wonderful, satisfying romantic kind of stories that just make me happy! I can't wait to read her next book - Isla and the Happily Ever After!

7.) Lauren DeStefano - author of Wither, Fever, and Sever.

I just LOVED the Chemical Garden trilogy - it was just such a unique storyline, and Lauren constantly had me on the edge of my seat! Plus, anyone who follows her on twitter or facebook would know that she is absolutely hilarious! She is just a fabulous writer, and I am so excited about her next series that she is working on!
8.) Tahereh Mafi - author of Shatter Me and Unravel Me.

I haven't even actually gotten around to reading Unravel Me yet...although I bought it the day it came out! I've been waiting until I have a free and clear couple of days so that I can concentrate on reading it, because I know that if it's anything like the first one (and I've heard it's even BETTER!) then I will not want to put it down! I have never read anything like Shatter Me - it was the most unique and beautiful thing I've ever written. I kid you not - I brought this book everywhere I went and read some of my favorite passages to friends and family. I did a presentation on this book in my YA Lit course, and I brought it to several of my professors. I spread the Shatter Me love, and got lots of people hooked! I am now a lifelong follower of Mafi!

9.) Lauren Oliver - author of Before I Fall, Delirium, Pandemonium, Requiem, and Liesel & Po.

I've loved every book she's written! I love how diverse her writing is...Before I Fall is so different from the Delirium trilogy...the trilogy is classic dystopian, but Before I Fall is more realistic with a little fantasy twist...and now she's also writing for a younger audience, such as with Liesel & Po. What I am super excited about is that I am going to meet Ms. Oliver in just a couple weeks when she comes to my local library for a book signing! WOOHOOO!

10.) Laurie Halse Anderson - author of Speak, Wintergirls, Catalyst, Chains, Forge, Prom, and more.

Talk about a diverse author...she goes from writing compelling historical fiction like Chains and Fever, 1793 to heart wrenching contemporary realistic fiction like Wintergirls, which is about a girl with an eating disorder, and Speak, which is about a girl who is bullied after reporting a classmate for sexually assaulting her. Whatever she writes, she writes wonderfully, and I look forward to reading more from her.
So, there you have it - those are my "auto BUYographies", hee hee. Who's on your auto buy list?

Stocking the Shelves #1

As I try to ease my way back into the world of blogging, it seems easier to start from scratch on some things...I lost track of what number I would be on for my Stocking the Shelves feature, so I am going to just start over for the year! First up, are my library books for this week:

1.) Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (from the jr high library where I work)
2.) Sources of Light by Margaret McMullan (a Sequoyah intermediate contendor, so I must read it!)
3.) Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker (sounds really interesting!)

Next, are books that I purchased:

All of the paperbacks I bought from Scholastic book orders through the middle school where I work (I LOOOOOOVE me some book orders!)
1.) Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
2.) Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Septys
3.) Legend by Marie Lu
4.) Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters by Suzanne Weyn
5.) Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
6.) Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (bought from Books-a-Million)
7.) Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (bought from Books-a-Million)

In my mailbox, I received for review:

Adapting Eden by Victoria Foyt

and the following are books I've recently received through Netgalley:


Have you read any of these books? If so, tell me what you think of them!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: All These Lives by Sarah Wylie

Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: June 5th, 2012
Number of Pages: 245
How I got this book: e-ARC from Netgalley
My rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads Summary:

"Sixteen-year-old Dani is convinced she has nine lives. As a child she twice walked away from situations where she should have died. But Dani’s twin, Jena, isn’t so lucky. She has cancer and might not even be able to keep her one life. Dani’s father is in denial. Her mother is trying to hold it together and prove everything’s normal. And Jena is wasting away. To cope, Dani sets out to rid herself of all her extra lives. Maybe they’ll be released into the universe and someone who wants to live more than she does will get one. Someone like Jena. But just when Dani finds herself at the breaking point, she’s faced with a startling realization. Maybe she doesn’t have nine lives after all. Maybe she really only ever had one."


The premise is interesting - Dani appears to have 9 lives. She was told that when cats lose one of their 9 lives, that it goes towards another's life. So, she starts thinking that maybe the same thing would work for her and Jena. She figures she has defied death twice already, she has 7 more lives to live - she can afford to waste a few if it means trying to save her sister. More than anything else, she just wants her sister to be well again. Plus, she is burdened with guilt over the fact that she has these "extra" lives, while her twin sister can barely hang onto the one that she has.

So, whenever she sees that her sister's health is worsening, she tries to kill herself. The first time, she tries to drown herself in a swimming pool. The "stunt" seems to work. Dani doesn't die, and Jena does appear to grow stronger, although she is not cured. This goes on a few more times throughout the book, while Dani struggles to deal with her guilt. She does this by mostly by being moody and sullen and acting out at school. For me, this was kind of irritating.

I didn't much care for Dani as a character throughout most of the book. I don't feel like her character was consistent, so I don't feel like I made much of a connection with her. Also, the whole "9 lives" thing was not written as well as I thought it could have been. When I read the blurb in the book, I kind of thought I was getting a paranormal/fantasy type of book, but it wasn't that way at all. It ended up being kind of a background element of the story. I don't know...the plot fell kind of flat for me. I did like the ending, and I did like the sister bonding element of the story. Overall, just an okay read...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Where has the Once and Future Librarian been?

Wow! Yes, it has been about SIX months since my last post! *crawling under my blanket in shame* A lot has been going on here. My college classes have been WHIPPING my butt. I have about 2 more semesters after this one and I will have my B.S. degree, so I am really buckling down. Plus, I am still on track to graduate suma cum laude, so I am really trying to keep it that way. Also, I got a new job! And guess where I'm working? IN A SCHOOL LIBRARY!!! Actually 2 school libraries! I am the library/media assistant for both the local middle school and junior high! The Once and Future Librarian is on her way to being a Current Librarian! :) I am absolutely LOVING my much so, that I believe I have changed my career path from becoming a public librarian to school media! For realz! :) I really love working with the kids and building those ongoing relationships with them. I love when they come to me and ask for a good book, and then come back and tell me all about it. I love when they stop by in between classes just to say hi! I love book fairs and book orders and prezis and hey, I'm even developing a relationship with the laminator...:)

Between classes, my new job, and my 3 kids getting involved in color guard, opera (my oldest now sings with a professional opera company!), basketball, and is pretty darn hectic. I am still keeping pace with my reading though - just not doing so hot on the reviewing. I am going to try to do better on that. Hope to be back on track soon!