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Showing posts from December, 2013

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
By Chris Grabenstein
Random House Books for Young Readers, 2013
Audience: Everyone
Source: Library

LOVED IT! Absolutely LOVED IT! It was like Willy Wonka but in a library! What more could you ask for???

It’s basically a love letter to libraries. I really wanted to work there. It seemed like such a fun place to be and they had the greatest technology. I loved the characters and how they weren’t perfect. They learned from their experience at the lock-in. I had a blast reading it and I look forward to re-reading it soon!

I think this one would be good for reluctant readers because they could see that libraries are fun places and it’s a fast-paced story.

From Goodreads:
Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behi…


By Craig Thompson
Top Shelf Productions, 2003
Audience: Older Teens
Source: My Own Bookshelf

So this was different than what I was expecting. I thought it would be a romance when I looked at the cover. It was more about his entire young life and about his faith - the faith of his parents, the faith he was raised to have, and his faith at the end of the book. Also, it showed how he tried to find his place in the world. The people at school were mean and his potential new friends were a bit rough for him. The romance didn't go the way I had hoped, but that's life, isn't it? I liked seeing how he grew up, but I wish it would have been two books so I would have seen more of his adult life. Maybe we'll get another book. I hope so!

From Goodreads:
Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, Blankets explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers. A tale of security and…

TBR Challenge Wrap Up #12

Hosted by Evie @Bookish
Year-End Wrap Up on  All Blogs:
Evie @Bookish ( Rachel @Fiktshun ( Justin @Justin's Book Blog ( Tiffany @Escaping.. One Book At A Time ( Bonnie @Words At Home ( Emily @Doodle's Book Blog (

Reviewers’ Roundtable: Social Media

Hosted by Michelle at the Pink Polka Dot Book Blog and Read Your Bookcase

Social Media

Oh, dear. I am terrible at social media. I can’t contribute much this week, except for Hoot Suite. This is the only way that I post to social media. It lets me post to all of the accounts that I want to at once (remember that episode of The Office?) Super easy!
For more information, I would definitely head over to Michelle’s blog!
What social media do you guys use?

The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale
By Margaret Atwood
Anchor Books, 1985
Audience: Adults, Older Teens
Source: Library

I’m pretty sure this book is on every “Adult Books for Teens” list I’ve seen. As I was reading it, I was a bit surprised at some of the racier parts because of that. It was interesting and really good for discussion and analyzation.

What I noticed was that I felt like I was reading something that took place in the future, but some of the references to technology and such were so dated. I wonder how books written now will seem when I am older. Secondly, I noticed a lot of Biblical references - something I really wanted to talk about at the book club meeting that I read this for.

It was interesting hearing what stuck out to other people - the biggest thing was gender issues.

Has anyone else read this? What did you think? How old were you when you read it?

From Goodreads:
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to …

Still Foolin’ ‘Em

Still Foolin’ ‘Em
By Billy Crystal
Henry Holt and Co, 2013
Audience: Older Teens, Adults
Source: Library

I read this book because I thought it would be hilarious and I wanted to find out what he had to say about “When Harry Met Sally.” I ended up getting so much more. His autobiography was heartfelt and interesting. He loves his family so much and really cares about everything that he wrote about. I felt like I learned a lot about life from him. I think this one would be a good one for teens who are above their reading level or are transitioning to adult novels.

From Goodreads:
Billy Crystal is turning 65, and he’s not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. In humorous chapters like “Buying the Plot” and “Nodding Off,” Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a road map to his 77 million fellow baby boom…

Bookish Buys: Tolkien

In honor of the latest The Hobbit movie, here are some of my favorite Tolkien buys!

Reviewers’ Roundtable: New Adult

Hosted by Michelle at the Pink Polka Dot Book Blog
and Read Your Bookcase

New Adult: The Verdict

I’m not a big New Adult fan. I have tried some of the more popular ones. It seems like the genre is just a sexed-up version of teen books. A lot of my choices weren’t very well-written but a few were good. I won’t pick up a book just because it’s advertised as “New Adult.” I won’t refuse to read them either, if they sound good. I think the reason the genre kind of gets a bad reputation is because they’re aiming at the wrong crowd - the teen crowd - and because a lot of the genre right now is self-published. When an editor doesn’t have a chance to tidy the writing up, it really influences how the book reads. In general, they aren’t for me. Also, I usually don’t review them for this blog - mostly because they’re isn’t much to say about them.
Also, whenever I say “New Adult” I think of adult books that just came out. Can we think of a different name for it, please?
Here are some New Adult bo…

More Than This

More Than This
By Patrick Ness
Candlewick Press, 2013
Audience: All Teens
Source: Library

I loved A Monster Calls, so I was really looking forward to reading this one. At the beginning, I liked it. I was dying to know what happened and how Seth got there. All of the characters were interesting and unique. It was refreshing. They had such great personalities! At about page 350, I was really tired of all of the chasing around. For people who like action, this would be perfect. For me, it kind of felt like a dog chasing its tail. I just wanted to see what happened at the end! Well, when I finally got to the end, I did like it. I enjoyed it, it was just a bit long. It ended in a way that set up for a sequel. I’m not sure if I’ll go for the sequel myself. We’ll see.

From Goodreads:
A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers…


By Marcus Sedgwick
Indigo, 2011
Audience: All Teens
Source: Library

This book is divided into seven sections and each takes place in a different time in the same location. In the description that I heard, it took place in the future. I wasn’t interested. Later, I heard that it took place in different times and I immediately changed my mind about the book.

I read it a section at a time. I kind of wish there would have been less sections. It was creepy but not outright scary. For a while, I was confused, but I liked how it all came together in the end. I’m glad that I read it but I’d only give it about three stars.

From Goodreads:
Have you ever had the feeling that you've lived another life? Been somewhere that has felt totally familiar, even though you've never been there before, or felt that you know someone well, even though you are meeting them for the first time? It happens. In 2073 on the remote and secretive island of Blessed, where rumour has it that no on…

Racing Savannah + Miranda Kenneally Guest Post

Racing Savannah
By Miranda Kenneally
Sourcebooks, 2013
Audience: Older Teens
Source: E-Galley

Miranda Kenneally does it again! Honestly, I know nothing about horses. I’m not a horse book person. The only horse book that I read was The Scorpio Races. I really loved it, too. Maybe I should start reading them? Because I really liked Racing Savannah. I think it’s my favorite of Kenneally’s. They just keep getting better!

The best part of this book was how strong the main character was. She went after what she want, she thought of her family and she demanded to be treated with respect in her relationships. Another part I liked was how we found out more about Jordan and Parker. That’s really fun. Make sure you read the beginning of the acknowledgements section!

Also, I got to ask her a blog question! I was SO EXCITED and honored! Here’s her guest post:

Question: All of your books so far feature female teens in sports. What role did sports play in your teen years and why do you choose to include it …

See You at Harry's

See You at Harry's
By Jo Knowles
Candlewick Press, 2012
Audience: Younger Teens
Source: Library

I read this one because of award buzz and high praise. I had to wait a while because it was ordered for our new library branch and none of the others had it. I wasn't expecting the book to have such a big tragedy in it - I probably wouldn't have read it if I had known. Tragedy isn't my style. I like to escape with my books, not dwell on sad things.

The best part was the narrator. I totally understood how she felt because her voice was so well-written. The relationships between the family members was very realistic, I think. Certain people tend to stick together more, it seems. I really felt for Holden. I wanted him to be more comfortable in the world, and I was super worried that Gray was older than what he said he was.

From Goodreads:
Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible. It seems as though everyone in her family has better things to do than pay attention to her: Mom (when …

Reviewers’ Roundtable: Diversity in YA

Hosted by Michelle @ The Pink Polka Dot Book Blog and  Read Your Bookcase

Diversity in YA
What bothers me most about diversity in YA is that when it manages to make an appearance, usually there’s something really wrong with the situation - whether it be drugs, homelessness, teen pregnancy or anything else of a dangerous nature. When it’s not something negative, the genre is usually historical fiction. We need more books with diverse characters in positive situations.
I tried to write book list for the library about diverse teens - no negative situations, no historical fiction. It was a short list. To top it all off, when the characters are diverse, they aren’t shown on the cover. Covers are very white. It’s something that is depressing and shameful and should change.
Here are some of my favorite diverse books: 

Hound Dog True

Hound Dog True
By Linda Urban
Harcourt Children's Books, 2011
Audience: Children
Source: Library

I picked this one up because it had a lot of award buzz and praise. I meant to read it earlier but never got around to it until now. It was super short and the narrator had a good strong voice. Unfortunately, I didn't see what all the fuss was about. I had really high expectations - probably unrealistically high. It was a good three-star book, but I didn't love it like other people did. The character development was fun to watch and I loved that she was a writer. At the end, you just know she's going to be successful someday.

From Goodreads:
Do not let a mop sit overnight in water. Fix things before they get too big for fixing.Custodial wisdom: Mattie Breen writes it all down. She has just one week to convince Uncle Potluck to take her on as his custodial apprentice at Mitchell P. Anderson Elementary School. One week until school starts and she has to be the new girl again.…

December TBR Goals

December 2013 Because I have so much to read and so little time, I'm going to start keeping a list on my blog of what I am going to try and read each month. I'm hoping it will help me to read a variety and finish books that I've been meaning to get read.

One Adult book: Still Foolin’ Em

One book from my Goodreads TBR pile: The Handmaid’s Tale

Four library books:
1. Two Boys Kissing
2. Escape from Mr. Limoncello’s Library
3. Paperboy
4. The Selection

Four of my own books:
1. The Diviners
2. Vampire Academy 3
3. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
4. This is What Happy Looks Like

Two Galleys:
1. Playing Dirty
2. Uninvited