Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Hazards of Working at a Bookstore Vol. 3.0

I see all the Waiting on Wednesday posts of the people I follow and realize that at some point I need to get back to doing that one. Not sure what I'm waiting on though, that I haven't already talked about at some time in the past. Maybe next week I can come up with something. So, I will post about 3 books I saw yesterday while working at the store.
First is Forgiven by Janet Fox. From what I see online this is a 2nd part of a series. The first in the series is called Faithful I believe, but I don't know exactly what it's about. However this story sounds interesting to me. I'm guessing it will be set during the time of the great San Francisco earthquake, but not sure. Basically the main character is Kula who has just moved here from Montana, I assume that is where the first book took place. She has come here to save her father, and somehow gets swept up in the upper society in San Francisco through the art world. There is a handsome David Wong, who with his charming ways threatens to break through her reservedness. It says that when disaster strikes, she must learn to unlock her heart. I'm guessing the disaster is the earthquake, and so I'm intrigued in this as a historical type fiction.

Second is more of a humor type book called How to Live Safely in a Science-Fictional Universe by Charles Wu. This goes along with the other How to survive a zombie apocalypse type books I think, except I assume it covers kind of all of the different situations. Except, this is a story. The main character is Charles Wu, and he is a time travel technician. He has to save people who try to do the one thing they should never do, travel into the past. His father is the inventor of time travel who then disappeared. So Charles is trying to find his father, and with a book given to him by his future self, same title as this book, he thinks he might find his father.

Third is Zombie High Yearbook '64 by Jeff Busch. This isn't really a book to read, more of a book to look at the pictures and laugh. Not sure how funny compared to Cake Wrecks or Awkward Family Photos it will be. But I thought it was interesting and tied in to all the new zombie related books and novels around. Basically it is a tribute to yearbooks from those days, and it ties in zombie stuff with civil rights movement, and other things in the time period. Sounds like a fun look through for people who enjoy zombies.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Hazards of Working at a Bookstore Vol. 2.9

Only two books this time. Even though I've worked 2 different times since my last post, the 2nd time I worked I was at the cash register the whole time, so only saw what other customers brought up, and nothing new was brought up. Okay, here are the two I saw that I think I'd like to read.

First is Lost Voices by Sarah Porter. It seems that mermaids are the new "it" fantasy stories to go to if you go by the number of them now popping up. Not sure if I will enjoy them, as I have yet to read any, but the last few I've seen have intrigued me by their description. This one is about a 14 year old girl named Luce who is attached outside her Alaskan fishing village and left to die. She falls into the water thinking that she is about to die. Instead she becomes a mermaid and joins a large group of mermaids. All these mermaids are like Luce in that they gave up their humanity when they were at the darkest moments in their life. This seems to be the perfect life until she finds out that they must lure sailors to their death. Luce is a great singer, so she is revered, but she doesn't want to become a murderer, so must decide what she will do.

The 2nd books is called Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruin Zafon. It is set in Calcutta in the 1960's, an English soldier fights to save two twin babies from weather and danger, losing his life in the process. It flashes forward to 16 years later, and the twins Ben and Sheere are once again confronted with this unthinkable threat. With their friends they must fight this monster, one more horrifying and unimaginable than any other. Sounds like a fun mystery, and one that teens would like, with a boy protagonist, it's possible it would be a good rec for boys.

And that's all for now! I work the next 3 days, so expect another post like this soon.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Misfit by Jon Skovron

This is another egalley I received from Abrams Publishing on This book will not be published till August 1st, but it will be on my staff recommendations as soon as it is. The main character is Jael. Jael has never really fit in at any school, but she's moved all her life, almost every two years if not more often, so it hasn't been that big of a deal. She lives with just her father because her mother is dead. Her father is a bitter ex-priest who used to perform exorcisms. Her mother was a demon. So Jael is a half breed. Because of her father's days of being a priest, she has always gone to Catholic schools. Because of being a half breed, her life is in danger from demons who believe in pureblood only, kind of like Voldemort and his hate of mudbloods. But here, it seems that the few half breeds in the past actually could cause problems for demons. Some of them may sound familiar to you, Perseus, and Merlin. The Perseus connection will draw in some Lightning Thief fans I think. So until she's turned 16, and her father gives her a necklace from her mother, Jael doesn't know much about her mother, her father has kept it from her in an effort to save her, as well as out of his feelings of betrayal and sadness of the death of his wife. He tells Jael not to put the necklace on. But even having the necklace, Jael begins to have vivid dreams which are actually flashbacks to the history of her mom and father. And she begins to learn about her past, and what it means to be half demon.

As with all of these types of books, all Jael really wants is to be a normal teen, which she's been unable to do with all the moving they've done throughout her life. She'd finally felt like she was somewhere she fit in, and now it seems she may have to move again to stay alive. I won't give away anymore of the book, except for the first demon she meets, well, let's say you'll really like his character, I did.

I really liked this book. I love the different look at ancient demons and how they weren't necessarily "evil" in what they were doing. I like the change in the view of hell, even how they go so far as to say it is not actually like Dante's version. (That could be because I was unable to get through Dante's Inferno I hated it so much). I really liked the story, liked the characters, and the look back at history. There was even a retake on the story of Samson, and I really liked it! I feel like the story really leaves off for a series of sequels. I don't know if there will be, and I guess the fact that it hasn't even been published means there are no hints about a sequel yet, but I'm hoping for it! I even sent a question to the author on his website asking him about this.

Great book! Read it when it comes out!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Book Blogger Hop #7 and Follow Friday #4

In the spirit of Twitter Follow Friday, the Book Blogger Hop is a place sponsored by Crazy for Books for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word. This week's question is:

"When did you realize reading was your passion and a truly important part of your life?"

That is a hard question, because I've been reading as long as I can remember. My dad started me reading at the age of 3 with a book that was used to help adults who had trouble reading. I remember my mom buying me like 10 or more of the Nancy Drew books to read when I was like in 1st or 2nd grade and getting me hooked on those. I remember getting my first checking account when I was in middle school (this was before debit cards :-)) just so I could order from book orders at school with my own money. I've always loved to read. I almost always had a book with me when I was a kid, even visiting family, I remember aunts saying that they wished my cousins would read like I did. In college my reading slacked off a bit, too busy with school reading, and no money to buy new books really either. But honestly, I don't think I realized it was my "passion" until I started teaching. And even then, not until I was trying to decide what to get my master's degree in, which ended up being library science. And now that it is my passion, I'm trying to so hard to get a school library job where I can really share this with more than just the kids I see every day as a classroom teacher. But no one seems to want to give me a chance, well, no one in my own district that is. I've had other offers, but one I had to turn down because my district wouldn't let me out of my contract, and the other because of such a huge paycut.

And also it is Follow Friday time! This is sponsored over at and is a blog hop that expands your following by a joint effort between bloggers. This week's question is:

"In light of the summer solstice, also known as midsummer...let's talk about fairies. What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?"

This is a hard question for me. I actually haven't read to many of the Fae YA books that are out there. For some reason they just don't grab my interest when I pull them off the shelf to read the covers. I would have to say my current fairy tale is The 12 Dancing Princesses. And I guess the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris includes fairies, and I do love that series. Oh yeah, the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare also has fairies, and I like that series as well.

Welcome to all new followers who have stopped by as part of either of these two hops, I will read all comments and I follow back anyone who follows me!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

No, this isn't the first time I've read this, but when movies are getting ready to come out, I like to read the book again right before. This usually means I'm going to be either irritated or disappointed when I watch the movie, but not always. I actually just watched the first movie that goes with the book a week or so ago as well. And because of that, as I began re-reading this book I noticed how true to the conversations and storyline this movie really stayed. No, not perfect, but almost whole conversations were the same, almost word for word. Of course as long as this book is, it has kept me from reading much else this past week, but that's okay, it was totally worth it.

It was good to go back and see what actually were the details of how Harry defeated Voldemort. And I also could now remember what certain scenes in the previews were from. Like the dragon. I couldn't really remember the dragon in this last book till I read that part again. Loved the book again, just like the first time. Although the end, the people who die, that part is always hard to read. To lose out on such major characters just totally sucked, but made it real. And again I was reminded of how much I love the feeling of being so into a book that when I'm doing something else, a family party, working, all I can think about is getting back to read and get into that world. And again, I feel sorry for all the people I know who have never had that feeling. I'm sure there are things they have done or felt that I haven't, but I just love this feeling so much that I think everyone should experience it just once in their lives. And I try so hard at school to help students find a book that will make them feel that way. And I'm in a science classroom. If only someone would give me a chance to be a librarian so I could share this all the time, with all students in the school. That would be my dream job, that is something that I would be able to get up in the morning without hitting the snooze button and be happy to be doing.

Anyway, to go along with this post, I thought I'd share the latest, and best trailer for the final Harry Potter movie.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Blogger Hop #6 and Follow Friday #3

Okay, joining in to Book Blogger Hop by Crazy for Books.

This week's question is: How many books are currently in your To-Be-Read (TBR) pile?

Wow, I don't know the exact number. About a year and a half ago I did actually go through and count, and it was over 300 at that time. Now, since then, I've read some, added more, and even decided to give away some, so I'm not sure. Plus I have some egalleys waiting to be read as well. So I'm sure the number is still in between 200 and 300. I'll never run out of anything to read. If only I could retire right now and just spend all my time reading.

Next is Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee. This is the 50th week of the Follow Friday, and there is a giveaway over at Parajunkee's site, so go on over and check it out!

This week's question is: Genre Wars! What's your favorite genre, and which book in that genre made it your favorite?

Honestly, right now YA, paranormal romance type are my favorite. And I really have to say it went back to when I first read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and got sucked back into YA. Before that I'd been really into what I called Chick Lit, but soon after Twilight I got drawn into all things YA. So whatever you think of Twilight, it is a big pull for me.

The Hazards of Working at a Bookstore Vol. 2.8

It feels like forever since I've blogged! But it's really only been 2 days. Silly me. Part of the reason is that I started re-reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to get ready for the movie, and so I haven't finished any new books to blog about in a few days. Plus, the egalley I was trying to read was so messed up, words repeated over and over, that I had to give up on it. So this entry is actually going to be a combo of the last two nights of work, and actually some of the ones I'm going to list aren't really ones I want to read, they were just amusing and I wanted to share them. And one of the books I'm not sure if I've posted about, since I just started keeping track of my posts a month ago. So here goes.

First is Eye of the Moon by Dianne Hofmeyr. I guess this is maybe a reprint, but it was on the new in paperback shelf in the Children's department at our store, so first time I've seen it. It's historical fiction, about ancient Egypt, one of my favorite time periods. The main character is the daughter of someone who assists at mummifications. When she goes with him to help with the mummification of a queen and her son, she finds the son is not dead, and so she helps him to escape. The prince is Tuthmosis, and they must avoid the High Priests who want to kill him, and find people to help get his throne back to him. Sounds like fun to me!

Second is Undertakers by Ty Drago. This is the one I feel like I've mentioned before, but am not sure. It is a zombie tale, but for young readers, well, grades 5 or 6 I would say. The main character is Will Ritter, and he must run away from home, where he joins a band of teenagers who call themselves the undertakers because they fight zombies. I think this is a great idea for the kids who have older brothers and sisters or parents who are reading older zombie books, because this can probably be for them. I haven't read yet, so don't know just how scary it is or is not, but it is on my list to read.

Third is what I thought was a really cute kid's picture book, until I got to the last page, and then, I realized, this is not a kid's book. It actually is in the humor section. But, other than the last page, I would LOVE to read this to the kids at the middle school level, or upper elementary. It is called It's a Book by Lane Smith. According to the author this is a book about a book loving monkey and a tech savvy jackass. And that last word is actually on the last page. I'll try to include a copy of the video that shows basically what the story is, without the controversial last page.

The next book is in the craft section. It is called Knit Your Own Wedding by Fiona Goble. And it is basically knitting all the main people in Prince William's wedding to Kate. It includes the Queen and a Corgi dog, and a cardboard background you can set up behind once you've knitted all the patterns. Crazy! But funny!

The last book is called Creepy-Ass Dolls by Stacey Brooks. This is a book full of pictures of dolls with creepy looks on their faces. Now, I have to admit, I was prepared to open this up and be creeped out. There are many, many creepy dolls out there. However, most of the pictures in this book were not that creepy to me. Some were, but not all. They have all been given some interesting names and funny little stories, so it is definitely worth a look through for some laughs.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Poisoned House by Michael Ford

Yet another egalley from Netgalley. This book is supposed to be published in September, so I'm getting to preview it a bit early. I do enjoy a good historical fiction, and this one did not disappoint. At first my brain kept wanting to think of the main character, Abigail Tamper, as if she was a slave girl. Which she's not, exactly, this actually takes place in 1856 in a large manor home in London. Abigail is an orphan, her mother passed away about a year ago, and Abigail has stayed serving the family they were already with. The master of the house, Lord Greave is getting old, and his health seems to be in question. The son is gone away to serve in the Crimean war. Therefore, the house is overseen by the housekeeper, the Lord's sister-in-law, Mrs. Cotton. And for some reason Mrs. Cotton hates Abigail. The staff try to make Mrs. Cotton think the house is haunted in order to get back at her the only way they can. Turns out there really is a ghost there, and it's Abi's mom. Abi's mom says she didn't die from a sickness, but was murdered. Soon they get word that the son, Samuel I think, is coming home after being wounded in the war. When he comes back Abi thinks all will be better, since he had always treated her like a sister.

When he gets home, things seem to get worse though, and whether it is the ghost, or Mrs. Cotton, or what, Abi must figure out before it is too late.

As I said before, I'm a big fan of historical fiction, or I am getting to be more. And I actually finished a book awhile back that featured characters around the time of the Crimean War, so that is interesting to me. That book was Falling in Love with English Boys.

Definitely a good mystery, and some interesting facts that make learning about history fun. I think so anyway. Check it out this September!

Monday, June 13, 2011

2011 Debut Author Challenge 11: Those That Wake by Jesse Karp

This is another egalley I got from It took me awhile to get into it. Which is kind of weird, because I had picked it as one of the books I would read for the Debut Author Challenge that I'm participating in. And really, let me say, I do really, really, really love the premise for this story, and I love the reason why all of it is happening as you get into the story and find out the whole reason for what's going on.

The basic plot is that a terror attack even worse than 9/11 has happened and the people of New York have just had their spirits crushed. Everyone walks around with their heads down, paying attention only to their cells. Which in this future, their cell seems like an iPad type thing, more than just a cell phone or laptop in its portability. Two of our 4 main characters are Mal and Laura. Mal gets a strange message from his estranged brother and goes to try to find him and help him. On the same day, Laura calls her parents who have been on a trip, only to find out they no longer remember her. Another of the main characters is a teacher in an inner city school who discovers a strange door in the basement of the school. And the other character is a secret agent of some sort who has come to observe and figure out why all of these things are happening. The four of them get captured and put in a strange place together, where they begin to figure out what is going on. They must escape this place and go fight what is causing the problem.

I like that this story is talking about memes, something I'd never heard of until I started blogging, but now know that they've been around for a long time. I love how it talks about people walking around wrapped up in their "cells" as I see more and more people, including myself, spending so much time constantly looking at the cell phones.

However, it was kind of hard to get into the story as I said before. Some of the story was kind of hard to keep up with, kind of confusing on who or what or where we were. So, great story idea, and interesting enough to read, just not my favorite.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ruined by Paula Morris

This is a book I got as a strip cover at the bookstore, and I'm not sure why it was sent back. It was really good! I thought it was anyway.

The main character is Rebecca. She has to go live with her aunt in New Orleans when her dad has to travel to China for 6 months. Now Rebecca is a New York girl, and so New Orleans is extremely strange to her. Especially this aunt that she doesn't know that well. She lives in the Garden district, but in probably one of the smallest houses there. And each room of her house is decorated in weird superstitious things, like voodoo, and other countries' similar types of masks and things. She has to go to a private school while she's there, and unfortunately her cousin that she lives with is too young and doesn't go to the same school building, so Rebecca is kind of alone. The girls at this school are clearly divided into different social groups. Many, including those from the neighborhood Rebecca lives in are snooty, rich girls who have known each other forever. Her aunt's house is right across from an old spooky cemetary, and her aunt forbids her from going there right away. Well, Rebecca hears the snobby kids from her school go over there late one night, so she sneaks out to see what is going on, where she meets a girl about her age named Lisette. It turns out though, that Lisette is actually a ghost. She is stuck there haunting certain families until a curse has been satisfied.

Of course, there is the popular boy, Anton, that seems to be interested in Rebecca, but then sometimes seems like he's trying to be one of those guys just playing a trick on a girl like her. His parents don't approve of Rebecca anymore than her aunt approves of him.

So of course, you can probably figure out that somehow Rebecca gets involved in the danger of this curse as she befriends Lisette and learns about her past.

What I loved about this book was all the information and history about New Orleans and Mardi Gras. Hearing all the background on the parades, and the groups that run them was very interesting to me. I also enjoyed reading about the history of New Orleans. I'd heard of the Quadroon balls, but don't remember ever knowing what quadroon meant. Good book.

Know Your Book Blogger 1

This is a new meme started by Melissa at Book Nerd Reviews. She started this so we can all get to know a little bit about each other. This week's question is:

Name 3 things that are worth waiting in long lines for. What's the longest amount of time you've ever waited in line for.

1. Well, I'm sure some of my answers will echo others, but first off is waiting in line to meet an author or other celebrity. It's always worth getting to meet them. Especially authors who are always friendly and willing to talk to you.

2. Waiting for concerts, especially if you're going to get to pick where you sit! Although, the one time I've done that, I was by myself, and so it didn't matter that I was kind of far back, as there are almost always single seats left up front, and I got one of those at the David Cook concert at UCM in Warrensburg, MO. It was definitely worth waiting out by the buses after the concert to get to meet him as well. I think I had to wait an hour or two to get in to the concert, and probably about an hour after to meet him.

3. And, waiting in line outside a midnight movie premiere is worth it. I think the longest I waited was like 5 or more hours before the last Harry Potter premiere. It was totally worth it. I sat there and read while I waited to get in, as well as getting to meet some other cool fans.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Book Blogger Hop June 11th, 2011

Didn't think I had time to do this right now because of the blog tour, but then I saw the question this week and knew I had to participate. Won't be doing Follow Friday, because I missed that and it's now Saturday. This week's hop is being hosted by another blogger due to Crazy For Books being really busy. So it is at Lori's Reading Corner instead at this link: (Sorry for long link, blogger is being difficult again.) This week's question is:

Who is the one author that you are dying to meet?

Well, I'm very interested in answering this question because it fits in with my quest this year of meeting 12 authors, one per month. I'm one author behind, as it's June and I've only met 5 so far. I intend to put a slide show on my blog as I meet each author to keep track of my quest. So far I've met, in order: Jasper Fforde, Jay Asher, Heather Brewer, Meg Cabot, and Ryan Buell (also the star of the A&E show Paranormal State). I'm intending to meet Maggie Stiefvater next month when she is supposed to come to town through one of our local bookstores for her book Forever. I met Stephenie Meyer a few years ago, and Rick Riordan, and Ellen Hopkins. I've also met Roland Smith and his wife Marie Smith. And at a Children's Book Workshop put on through University of Central Missouri a few summers ago, I got to meet some children's authors, Cheryl Harness and Carolyn Mulford, as well as Veda Boyd Jones, who actually critiqued my writing!

Okay, those are who I have met in person. Who I would love to meet most? Well I'd have to say Maureen Johnson, I love her tweets and think she must be a really fun person to hang around. I'd also love to meet Stephen King or Dean Koontz as some of my all time favorite authors. Then I'd love to meet several YA authors, Cassandra Clare, Robin Wasserman, Carrie Ryan, and so many others. But I guess that would be my list for now. I almost had a chance to meet Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels in May, but had a meeting at that time and didn't get to make it.

Who would you like to meet?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Blog-A-Licious Blog Tour

I joined into this on a new site I've joined called Book Blogs. This "Blog-A-Licious tour" is a blog hop sponsored by Pandora Poikilos where you will get a new site to visit on each site after you've read their take on a weekly question. Hopefully you'll find 30 great new blogs that you want to follow. Some bloggers are having contests and giveaways, so don't only go forward from my link, but also, go back if you just started from mine. And the blog stop before me is Anna's Obsession.

The question for this week is what would a world without books be like? This question reminds me of a few books actually. There is always Fahrenheit 451, where books were burned. The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick. It's about a world where again, books are gone. And the third is a newer book that I've read, called Matched. In this dystopian world, there are only 100 books left. The government has decided to choose what are the 100 books, 100 pieces of art, 100 songs, etc. that are most important and should be saved. Everything else has been destroyed.

Other people lament the rise of e-readers, saying that they are going to ruin the book world. As a bookseller at a store that sells their own e-reader, I disagree. As many of those that we sell, and even I own one, there are still books I want. I will always want real books, the ones that I want to read over and over, I want those. Then there are books that you might call "coffee table" books. Those are ones that I can't imagine just wanting to have on an e-reader. Years ago when the mass market size paperback came out, people then were saying it was going to be the end of the book world. Not true, if anything, it made books more accessible for the price and the ease of reading.

Now, what do I think a world without books would be like? Miserable for me. I can't imagine not having a book to read. Before I started working at a bookstore, over 10 years ago, when I didn't have money for a new book, or wanted something to read, I just reread something I had. Since I've been working at a bookstore, I hardly have time to go back and read all the books that I used to read over and over. But it's okay, because I'm reading so many great books. I can't imagine not having something to read. When I am stuck somewhere with nothing to read, I find something, a cereal box, the graffiti on the bathroom wall, whatever. What do you think a world without books would be like? I'd love to hear your responses.

And, to hear what the next blog on the tour has to say about this, go on to Jessica's blog at Finding One's Way. It's a blog dedicated to shedding light on domestic violence and sexual abuse.

The Hazards of Working at a Bookstore Vol. 2.7

As I was working yesterday, I was so busy at the beginning of the day, working on getting returns ready from the nonfiction part of the childrens section, that I didn't think I'd find any books to share or post about. But then, when it got busier and I had to spend more time helping customers, I found 5. So, another long post, but here we go.

First is Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. The cover caught my eye right way. To me it is kind of creepy, the black and white, a little girl standing all by herself. Looks like the makings of a horror movie poster to me. It's about a boy who goes and explores the island this home is on after a family tragedy. His grandfather was actually once a child in this abandoned home. As Jacob goes searching he learns that the children kept here were more than just "different" there was really something wrong or dangerous with them. There are supposed to be lots of pictures spread throughout to help with the theme and setting. I think I read about this first in Shelf Awareness emails, but seeing it on the shelf at the store really caught my attention.

The 2nd book is Notes from the Blender by Brendan Halpin. The cover of this didn't quite draw me, but the name did. And then, the name of one of the characters. The boy who the boots belong to is named Declan, and when I hear that name, I think Ireland, and my huge love of an Irish accent. Yeah, I know, I can't hear an accent when I read a book in my head, but still, it made me interested enough to pick it up and read the synopsis. Basically Declan is kind of a freak at school, he dresses out there (see the boots in the picture), listens to strange music, but, he has always thought about the other main character, Neilly (how do you pronounce that?) He's watched her in classes and thought about bumping into her in the hall, basically fantasized about her. Neilly is one of the most popular girls at school, until she is dumped by her boyfriend, and betrayed by her BFF. To add insult to injury, she finds out that her dad is going to marry Declan's mom. So now they've got to live in the same house.

The 3rd book is Newes from the Dead by Mary Hooper. This is a terrifying tale of being stuck in your body, unable to move or communicate, and everyone thinking you are dead. This is based on a true story back in the 1800's when many people were often buried but not really dead. Her name is Anne Green, she has been falsely accused of a crime and hung. When she is on the dissection table, a young medical student senses something wrong with this body. I guess she survives. This sounds like a really freaky tale, especially knowing that it is based on a true story.

I found the 4th book on my list as I was shelving a v-cart of teen books yesterday. That's why I love when I get to shelve teen books, finding the new things that I may not have heard of yet is great, although it does feed my book addiction. Anyway, the 4th book is The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride. The main characters are Tessa and Noelle. Noelle disappears at the start of 8th grade, and Tessa pulls back from everyone. It sounds like Noelle was kidnapped, and when she escapes her captivity two years later she comes back. Noelle is now going by Elle, and Tessa finds her to be a different girl, changed by her experience. The story is how people change and what that can do to a relationship.

The final book is called Time Riders by Alex Scarrow. I think what drew my eye to this was the book I finally gave up reading, an ARC of the book Map of Time by Felix Palma. But the main characters are kids who should have died at times in history, like on the Titanic. They are Liam, Maddy who should have died in a plane crash in 2010, and Sal who should have died in 2029. So we've got kids from a huge span of time. They have been recruited by a secret agency that is trying to save the world from people using time travel for selfish or evil reasons. Such as going back to make Hitler win World War II. I guess from what I read this is going to be a series, so it sounds like something that would be great to suggest to a lot of kids I know.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

To start off, I have to admit that I'd heard not so good things about Going Bovine from librarians in my school district. Of course I follow authors on Twitter who say good things about it. So conflicting reviews, and the fact that so far the books haven't sounded like something I really wanted to read after a quick scan of book jackets, had kept me from reading any of Libba Bray's books until now. What finally got me to pick up this book, Beauty Queens, and read it, was a review in Entertainment Weekly magazine. They described it as hilarious. So, I checked it out from my bookstore and set in to form my own opinion.

First I was glad that by checking it out I didn't have to carry around the book with the cover. Sorry, would have felt really weird carrying about a book with a picture of a girl in a bikini and machine gun on the cover, especially since I think it was just her body, the head was cut off. It took me a while to get into the book. I could tell right away it was going to make fun of beauty pageants, and to start off it seemed pretty much like what you'd expect. But as I read further in, it got to be way different, and more complex in what the jokes and themes were. We got to know most of the beauty pageant contestants pretty well, and they all had something to hide you could say. Now, I will say that a lot of the themes were pretty mature. And so I would not recommend this to a middle school student, unless they were a really advanced reader. I know that at that age I was reading VC Andrews books, but I was one of those advanced readers, and my parents would probably have taken them away if they'd known what they were about. But high school would be okay. Themes include homosexuality, promiscuity, sex changes, etc. Not that I have a problem with any of them, just know that if I was in a school library, especially at middle school level, there could be issues.

There were some of the funniest lines I've read in a book in a long time. First was this little section (Warning, mature theme here):

p. 148: Nicole is saying: "But only after she accidentally has sex with him."

"Hold up. How do you accidentally have sex with somebody?" Adina scoffed. "Is she all, 'Oh, I'm so sorry, I didn't see your penis there'?"

Freaking hilarious! I laughed out loud when I was reading that. Unfortunately I forgot to mark with post it notes the other spots that made me laugh that hard, so I can't share those with you. But suffice it to say that Entertainment Weekly was correct, this is one funny book.

Only one thing I disliked, the book went back and forth between calling them by their names and their states, like Taylor is Miss Texas. But sometimes I couldn't remember who they were by their states, it was easier when I saw their names. So I just wish that would have been a bit more clear. I can't end on a negative note though, I have to again say this was a really funny book.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

American Ghost Hunter Movie Premiere

Yeah, yeah, I know this is supposed to be a book blog, but at one time I had thought to review movies as well, and one of the guys on this is an author, I had him sign his book while I was there, so I think it's okay to do this.

Also, those who attended the premieres are asked to be the publicity for this movie. To get out and spread the word. I know that some of my followers are paranormal lovers as I am, and so probably watch different ghost hunting type shoes. I first became award of this movie because I am, or was now that it's over, a huge fan of Paranormal State on A&E. So I followed that as well as Ryan Buell and Sergey Poberezhny on Twitter and Facebook. Chad Calek has also been on the show, and had been a ghost hunter on his own even before Paranormal State. In fact, for the past 20 years or so, Chad's family has been dealing with paranormal events. This movie is about Chad trying to figure out what is going on with his family and see if they can solve the problems. It seems as if his mother may be possessed. The movie is done documentary style, but that doesn't mean it isn't good. You get to see many pieces of evidence, convincing or not, that is up to you.

Don't go to this movie expecting Paranormal Activity. Nothing so dramatic, but this is real evidence, real emotion, a real story. And as part of the event we got to see other evidence and things that'd happened in the past. They showed us the evidence, gave us a chance to really look at it over and over to see what we could. So glad I got to do this.

My mother and I purchased VIP tickets, which meant we got to have dinner with the cast and crew before all of this took place. Unfortunately Chad was not feeling well, so while he did make an appearance and do most of his part of the premiere, he wasn't able to join us for dinner. I got to sit by some of the people that are his best friends, Justin Holstein and Joseph Ansley, at dinner. They were really nice, and we had some interesting conversation about science, physics and other universes. I wanted to post the pictures in this blog, but Blogger is acting funky again. Maybe something to do with the video in this. Don't know. I'll try to post the picture of me and Ryan Buell separate since he is an author, so he counts for a book blog.

I guess their next steps are to finish the tour, then take the film to some festivals. At that point hopefully it will get to come to the theater. And I'll be sure to do whatever voting and promoting that I can do.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Hazards of Working at a Bookstore Vol. 2.6

Didn't see a lot that was new while working all day yesterday, but I have a couple, plus one that I've picked up several times and need to mark it as to read for sure.

First is a teen book called Unidentified by Rae Mariz. Reading the back of this I think I've heard about it somewhere. I don't know if I've posted it already, or heard about it in Shelf Awareness, or requested it on Netgalley, but it sounds right up my alley, so I'm adding it to my TBR list. In this dystopian novel, the Corporation sponsors school, which means they can monitor any and everything the students do. A group called the Unidentified start causing problems, and the main character, her name is Kid, really, begins to realize that her ideas, her life, nothing are hers, the Corporation can take anything. So she joins the group to fight back.

Second is an adult fiction novel called The Childrens Book by A.S. Byatt. This book goes from the Victorian era up to World War I. A runaway is discovered by an author's oldest son, and he is brought to their home to live with this exciting family. The author writes private books for each of her children, but they are dark and contain secrets that give away the lies that have been told. The premise sounds good, but sometimes these books aren't always what you expect from the jacket.

Finally is The Periodic Table by Primo Levi. This is a book on the holocaust. This book is a memoir of the author's life up to and after his transportation to Auschwitz as a Jew. The title, I would guess comes from the fact that the author was a student in chemistry where he came from. It is supposed to be a story about a family and their struggle to survive.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Book Blogger Hop #4 and Follow Friday #2

First off is the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy for Books at (Sorry, still having issues with blogger posting correctly, so can't link sometimes.)

This week's question is:

Share your favorite blog post from the last month and tell us why it's close to your heart.

I guess it would have to be from May 15th, my blog about Abandon by Meg Cabot, because it reminds me of getting to meet her when I got that book. It is also when I decided that I was going to try to set a goal to meet 12 authors this year, one a month, because I met her in April, and she was the 4th author I'd met this year.

And for the 2nd time, I'm going to participate in Follow Friday hosted by parajunkee at

This week's question is:

What are you doing to prepare for the upcoming zombie apocalypse and/or the return of Mel Gibson to the silver screen?

Well, I have been reading a lot of zombie books in the past year or so it seems. And seen a few zombie movies. I must admit that I often think about how could I survive in my house if this happened. There also used to be a house in the city I live in that I always thought I'd go to during a zombie attack because it's like the whole house was up high, with just a small side of it that I assume had an elevator or stairs above a garage. I figured it'd be safe. Not easy for zombies to climb, but lots of windows so you could see what was going on outside. Not quite sure about Mel Gibson, I will have to think about that one.

My First Blog Award!

Just joined Book Blogs, and right away met a really neat blogger who gave me this award. The blog is titled "A Three Way Tie" and you should really go over and follow her as well! Along with this I'm supposed to name 7 random facts about myself, and then nominate 15 more blogs. I will have a hard time just picking 15 as I am currently following so many awesome blogs. And I know a few of them no longer accept awards, so I'm hoping the ones I pick are okay with getting this.

1. I love dachshunds. I can't imagine ever not having one. I love all puppies and dogs, but if I see a dachshund, I just can't help myself with wanting to go pet it and talk to the owner.

2. Have you seen the movie Good Luck Chuck? In a nonsexual way, I embody that character. Every guy I get a crush on seems to immediately find the perfect woman for them shortly after my crush really gets going.

3. To me, authors are like rock stars. I currently have a kind of fun goal for the year to try to meet a total of 12 authors, one per month. I'm currently 2 behind as I've only met 4 so far this year, but 4 awesome ones! I will be meeting an author/reality tv star on Monday though, so that will get me a bit closer to my goal.

4. Wow, random facts are hard to come up with. Let's see, I am a very loyal person. If I support a show, a team, a school, etc., I will always be loyal to them. It takes a lot to get me to break away. I've stuck with American Idol up until this year, I miss Simon.

5. I record and watch The Young and the Restless soap opera every day.

6. I'm obsessed with certain tv shows and book series/movies. Love The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twilight, and Harry Potter.

7. And, finally, I am a huge Kevin Smith fan, which is funny, because I used to think swearing in movies was so unnecessary, and I'm so opposed to drugs. But the characters in his movies just crack me up.

Alright, here are the 15 blogs I chose to pass my award on to:

1. Charlotte's Web of Books(
2. It's Like a Whirlwind(
4. A Cupcake and a Latte(
5. Bloggin' 'Bout Books (
6. Books, Sweets, and Other Treats(
7. That Bookish Girl(
8. Sophistikatied Reviews(
9. Curling Up by the Fire(
10. Ex Libris(
11. I Live in a Fictional World(
12. Just One More Chapter...(
13. Crazy For Books(
14. My Book Addiction(
15. A Corner of my Bookshelf(

All of these blogs have great reviews, some have contests or memes to do as well. I hope my followers will check any of these out that they don't already follow. Congratulations to the blogs nominated!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

the Hazards of Working at a Bookstore Vol. 2.5

Okay, since I worked last night, and am working tonight, I thought I'd better go ahead and post for what I found last night, since I found 5 books. Not sure I'll find any tonight as I'm working at the cashwrap, but you never know.

First this time is Cleopatra Confesses by Carolyn Meyer. I've not read any of this author's books, but as I am always curious about Egyptian history this sounds like one I'd really enjoy. As you'd guess from the title, this book is about Cleopatra. She is chosen to be the next queen by her father, but when King Ptolemy is exiled she must learn to rely on herself and do what she thinks is best as queen.

Second is Possession by Elana Johnson. This is another dystopian novel, and as you probably are guessing from many of my past blogs, I am really into these. In this world, our main character is Vi, and she knows that you don't walk with boys, let alone kiss them. But there is one boy that makes her want to break the rules, Zenn. And he has been chosen by the Thinkers as Vi's match, so why can't they kiss? The Thinkers want Vi to become one of them, so they brainwash Zenn. Which causes Vi to want to join the rebellion, where she meets Jag, who is also attractive, if in an annoying sort of way, and everything Zenn is not.

Third is Siren by Tricia Rayburn. This is a story of 2 sisters, Vanessa and Justine Sands. They have a tradition of vacationing in Maine where there are some boys they are friends with, the Carmichaels. Vanessa is the younger sister, who of course wants to be more outgoing like her older sister, and maybe get one of the Carmichaels as more than just a friend. Her sister washes up on the shore after going cliff diving, and Vanessa is sure there is more to it than just a drowning. The reason why is there are more and more victims, all male, washing up on shore with huge grins on their faces. Caleb, the older Carmichael has gone missing, so Venssa and Simon must figure out what is going on.

Fourth is Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari. I saw a blogger that I follow just recently reviewed this, so I'm even more interested in reading it now. Anyway, this is an end of the world type story. All kinds of disasters have occurred, floods, droughts, diseases, and 99% of the population is now gone. The main character is Lucy, and she is trying to survive in the now wild Central Park, even as what are called Sweepers are trying to clear the streets of all plague victims. She meets a mysterious boy named Aiden and joins his gang of survivors. But there is something special about Lucy, the Sweepers want her in particular.

And finally is a non-teen book, a humor book, called That's What She Said by Justin Wishne and Bryan Nicolas. Okay, this saying was made popular by the Office, or at least for me it was.
And I still find myself saying it, or when other people say it, but not meaning it that way, I can't help but jump in and point it out. Along the

lines of another book I just bought recently, Damn You Autocorrect, this book just cracked me up when I looked at a bit of it. So it will probably be the next humor book that I purchase.

RAK: May Wrap Up

Book Soulmates

This was my first time participating in Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) like a few others I've seen. I intend to participate in June as well, and be more prompt with sending my books out. If you are interested in participating for June, please click on the button above to get more information.

And while I did not get anything in the mail myself, I am shipping out today, (I know a day or two late, the end of the school year is always hectic) I Heart You You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder to Heather of

Magnolia League by Katie Crouch

This is yet another egalley from Netgalley. And I'm glad I got it. It is already published, in May, a bit before I downloaded it, and that is part of why I wanted to read it, because I picked it up and read the jacket at the bookstore where I work.

Our main character is Alex, or Alexandria which is her full name. She has lived her whole life on a kind of hippie commune with her mother. They do grow pot like you'd expect, but her mother is more of an herbalist, growing all kinds of herbs and using them to cure and help those around them. Her mother has never really spoken of her past, or Alex's father. At the beginning of the book, Alex's mother dies in a car crash. Alex wants to just stay on the commune and continue working in her mother's herb garden. She has a boyfriend and that's all she's known for her life. But a surprise shows up in the form of a lawyer for her grandmother, who wants to take her back to her hometown, Savannah, Georgia. The lawyer pressures the commune leader with threats of the police finding out about the marijuana, and also gives money to help them continue with the business. So Alex is taken back to Georgia to an old southern mansion. Now, Alex's grandmother is very young looking, and the president of a local debutante group called the Magnolias. She wants Alex to become a part of this as all generations should. Alex is not the type, she has dreadlocked hair, wears only t-shirts and jeans, and hates the consumerism that is shown with shopping. Two of the girls, Madison and Hayes, are asked by her grandmother to get her clothed and fit into the society. At first, Alex fights it. She's chubby, and gets made fun of for it by the other kids at school. So she runs back to the commune, only to find out the leader has destroyed her mother's herb garden to grow more marijuana. She also finds out her "boyfriend" has a girlfriend that has now shown up at the commune. So, she goes back to Georgia and tries to fit in.

Turns out there is some magic going on, how else could a grandmother look that young, and Madison and Hayes eat like pigs, but are perfectly skinny. Alex learns the secrets and begins to become a Magnolia, complete with falling in love with Hayes's brother.

I loved the story, the background, the magic. I do have one major complaint though. The fact that Alex promises Hayes's brother that she won't use magic on him, and then she does. I hate that! I'm such a loyal person, that when I promise something I stick to it. And this made me not a fan of Alex's for doing this. That's my one big gripe with the story, because of course it leads to huge problems with the boy. I think that could have been left out, and with what happens at the end, it could still have happened that way without ruining this. My opinion, but I still liked it, and will be looking forward to the next book in the series.