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Mini-review: Sweet Shadows (Tera Lynn Childs)

The Deets:
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 328
ISBN: 9780062001832
Publisher:  September 4th 2012 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: mythology, mystery, paranormal elements
Source: Library book



Gretchen may have known she was a descendant of Medusa long before her sisters--after all, she's spent her life fighting the monsters that escape the abyss--but that doesn't mean it will be easy to teach the other girls the ropes. Can she rely on Grace and Greer, or even trust herself to keep them safe? Greer has pressing social commitments on her plate and precious little time to train in her newfound powers. But that wretched second sight won't leave her alone, and her fabled heritage seems to be creeping into her fashionable life.

Grace has worries closer to home--like why her brother, Thane, has disappeared. He's hiding something. Could it possibly be related to the secret heritage the triplets share?

With the warring factions among the gods of Olympus coming for them, the creatu…

Cover Appeal: Dystopians Part 3

Ok, seriously. Who would have thought I could find enough pictures for an entire month's theme?

Ready for more Dystopian December action? Hope so...

Review: Wake (Amanda Hocking)

The Deets
Reading level: upper MG or YA
Pages: 309
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (August 7, 2012)
ISBN: 978-1250008121
Source: library book


Fall under the spell of Wake—the first book in an achingly beautiful new series by celebrated author Amanda Hocking—and lose yourself to the Watersong.

Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite h…

Mini-review: Enchanted Ivy (Sarah Beth Durst)

The Deets:
Reading level: older MG or YA
Pages: 310
Publisher: October 12th 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
ISBN: 9781416986454
Source: library book


What Lily Carter wants most in the world is to attend Princeton University just like her grandfather. When she finally visits the campus, Grandpa surprises her: She has been selected to take the top-secret Legacy Test. Passing means automatic acceptance to Princeton. Sweet!

Lily's test is to find the Ivy Key. But what is she looking for? Where does she start? As she searches, Lily is joined by Tye, a cute college boy with orange and black hair who says he's her guard. That's weird. But things get seriously strange when a gargoyle talks to her. He tells her that there are two Princetons—the ordinary one and a magical one—and the Key opens the gate between them. But there are more secrets that surround Lily. Worse secrets.

When Lily enters the magical Princeton, she uncovers old betrayals and new dangers, and a chance a…

Review: Crimson Frost (Jennifer Estep)

The Deets:
Reading level: YA
Pages: 384
Publisher: December 24th 2012 by Kensington
ISBN: 9780758281463
Source: eARC from Netgelley



I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming.

I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison—and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself…


As much as I love this series, I have to say I was a little disappointed with Crimson Frost. Maybe it's just me, but this series is dragging on. I really thought this would be the final book, and I was sad when I started... BUT, now I'm ready for a finale.

I know some …

Cover Appeal: Dystopians Part 2

It's still Dystopian December. Here is round 2 of Dystopian inspired book covers for Cover Appeal.


Mini-review: The Vicious Deep (Zoraida Cordova)

The Deets:
Meant for: YA readers
Pages: 384
Publisher: May 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN: 9781402265105
Source: my copy



For Tristan Hart, everything changes with one crashing wave.
He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.
His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before? How can he explain he's heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he's suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods.
Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea...and now it wants him back.

I really have to start taking notes as I read. I read this book in one sitting then jumped right into a new book. Eight books later, I can hardly remember what I liked and didn't like about The Vicious Deep

I do remember that I like…

Review: The Maze Runner (James Dashner)

The Deets:
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 374
Publisher: October 6th 2009 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers     
ISBN: 9780385737944
Source: Library book


When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

When I started this book, …

Review: The Complete Maus (Art Spiegelman)

The Deets:
Reading Level: YA (for content)
Pages: 296
Publisher: October 1st 2003 by Penguin Books
ISBN: 9780141014081
Type: Graphic Novel
Source: Library book




Combined for the first time here are Maus I: A Survivor's Tale and Maus II - the complete story of Vladek Spiegelman and his wife, living and surviving in Hitler's Europe. By addressing the horror of the Holocaust through cartoons, the author captures the everyday reality of fear and is able to explore the guilt, relief and extraordinary sensation of survival - and how the children of survivors are in their own way affected by the trials of their parents. A contemporary classic of immeasurable significance.




This was different from what I expected. I wasn't sure what I would be reading when I started this book. I knew Maus was a Holocaust story, but I didn't know what type of story it would be. Calling it a "contemporary classic of immeasurable significance" is an understatement. I think powerful …

review: The Juvie Three (Gordon Korman)

The Deets:
Reading level: MG/YA
pages: 256
publisher: September 2nd 2008 by Hyperion
ISBN: 9781423101581
Source: my own copy


Gecko Fosse drove the getaway car.
Terence Florian ran with the worst gang in Chicago.
Arjay Moran killed someone.
All three boys are serving time in juvenile detention centers until they get a second chance at life in the form of Douglas Healy. A former juvenile delinquent himself, Healy is running an experimental halfway house in New York City where he wants to make a difference in the lives of kids like Gecko, Terence, and Arjay.
Things are going well, until one night Healy is accidentally knocked unconscious while trying to break up a scuffle among the boys. Terrified of the consequences, they drop him off at a hospital and run away. But when Healy awakes, he has no memory of them or the halfway house. Afraid of being sent back to Juvie, the guys hatch a crazy scheme to continue on as if the group leader never left. They will go to school, do their…

Cover Appeal: Dystopians Part 1

If I wrote a YA alphabet book, D would be for Dystopians... and that's what you get this week. Dystopian book covers for Cover Appeal.


Mini-review: Glitter Kiss (Adrianne Ambrose)

The Deets:
Reading level: YA
Pages: 160
Publisher: December 19th 2012 by Oni Press
ISBN: 9781620100820
Source: netgalley



One kiss from Tinka's sparkling lips leads to some unexpected consequences for the callous boys of Portage High School. After a secret romance goes up in flames, she looks to a fortune teller for answers on finding true love, which leads to the summoning of some accidental--but hilarious-magic.
But in the end, Tinka has to learn to take responsibility for her own decisions, with or without the aid of magic.

This graphic novel was great! I really enjoyed it. The illustrations were great and the plot was actually good.

 What made the plot so great, you ask? The fact there was actually one! I am so tired of graphic novels that hardly have a plot. This one was fairly fleshed out (for a graphic novel). There were plot twists and an actual message. Rock on. It did end a little abruptly without offering much of a resolution for some of the characters, but it&…

mini-review: Shadows on My Wall (Timothy Young)

The Deets:
reading level: picture book
pages: 40
Publisher:
ISBN:
Source: eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review



How many of us remember seeing shadows on the wall when we were younger and being scared of what they could belong to? Well, that very idea is addressed in Timothy Young's picture book Shadows on My Wall.

I know as a child with an over active imagination (um, that child turned into an adult with the same problem), I would always imagine scary scenes in the dead of night. I was convinced on numerous occassions that a blood-thirsty bobcat had entered my room to eat me. Obviously that ended up being wrong, but it was still frightening as a kid! I really liked how the idea of the unknown is addressed in a kid-friendly way. The little boy in the book has the same fears that so many of us have had as wee ones and learns to change his perception.

Instead of being scared by what might be behind that shadow, he learns to take control. He scares away an angry robo…

Mini-Review: They're Coming (Thomas Young)

The Deets:
Reading Level: For the youngins (picture book)
Pages: 32
Publisher: August 1st 2012 by Schiffer Publishing
ISBN: 9780764342257
Sournce: eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review



They're Coming! is a humorously creepy picture book from author/illustrator Timothy Young. It shows monsters and ghouls and various creatures from all over. Why are they coming? You'll have to read the book to find out.








I enjoy reading picture books from time to time. They are quick and fun. Plus, I love seeing my youngest son's reaction to them since this is right in pace with his age. We read Timothy Young's They're Coming together some time ago, but I'm just now getting around to writing the review. (I know, bad mommy!)

We enjoyed it. Now, as the older reader, I knew what to expect. I was certain there was a twist ending, and I was not disappointed. For a barely five-year-old though-- the intended suspense was not missed. We enjoyed flipping the pages …

Cover Appeal: Camping

Cover Appeal is back! Since it's the middle of "fall" where I live (which really means a later summer), I thought fall themed book covers would be appropriate. We love camping here, so camping is my inspiration!

Mini-review: Excalibur (Lee and Hart)

Product Details:
Reading level: MG or YA
pages: 144
publisher: March 8th 2011 by Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763646431
Source: library book


The Arthurian legend springs to life in another powerhouse graphic novel from the creators of OUTLAW: THE LEGEND OF ROBIN HOOD.

Arthur Pendragon was raised in obscurity, but fate will not leave him to the shadows. In a moment of desperate need, he draws a legendary sword from its stonebed and commences the life he was born to lead. A series of adventures sparked by the elusive wizard Merlin launches Arthur through love and betrayal, domination and defeat, and toward the prophesied end awaiting him. Merging a faithful retelling with dynamic illustrations, EXCALIBUR invites long-time fans to relive the legend and those new to the story to experience it up close in a vivid graphic adventure.


Here is another graphic novel on the reading list of my YA book club: Excalibur by Lee and Hart. I don't think I need to justify why I picked this one. …

Review: Anya's Ghost (Vera Brosgol)

Product Details:
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 221
Publisher: June 7th 2011 by First Second     
ISBN: 9781596437135
Source: Library book



Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn't kidding about the "Forever" part...

Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.

Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya's normal life might actually be worse. She's embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she's pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.

Or so she thinks.



I am new to the genre of graphic novels. I'm really trying to break out of my reading shell. Anya's Ghost was my second graphic novel ever, and I have mixed feelings.

First off, the drawings were awesome! The author/illustrator is so talented. The characters' faces had so much great detail and exp…

Cover Appeal: Thankfulness

I can't believe it's been a month since I've posted a Cover Appeal post! It's been so crazy busy around here... Since it's Thanksgiving as I write this, I thought I would do something a little different today. Instead of listing the things I'm thankful for, why not show them with pictures? And of course, these pictures would also make awesome book covers! Peace and quiet Adventure Nature Family I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Mini-Review: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

Product Details
reading level: YA
pages: 260
publisher: Ember books (October 2010)
ISBN: 9780375859
Source: library book


"I've left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don't, put the book back on the shelf, please."
So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the "New York Times" bestselling authors of "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist." Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

I'm going to upset the cosmic balance when I say that I did not enjoy this book. Gasp! I know. This is proof that sometimes ther…

Like Moonlight at Low Tide (Nicole Quigley)

Product Details:
Reading level: YA
pages: 256
publisher: Zondervan (September 11, 2012)
ISBN: 9780310723592
Source: ARC from NetGalley
Read it in 2 days



 For Missy Keiser, returning to Anna Maria Island, Florida, means two things: her mother made another poor decision with men, and Missy will have to reenter a world where she’s known as “Messy,” a social pariah who dared to have a crush on Sam King, the most popular boy in school.

But much has changed in the three years she’s been away. Missy’s next-door neighbor is no longer an elderly woman but Josh, an intriguing boy who seems genuinely interested in her. At school, she’s surprised to find few people remember who she once was. And any remaining taunts of Messy are silenced when Sam King gives her his nod of approval.

Just as things seem to be perfect, Josh’s sudden distance, her mother’s latest relationship implosion, and her brother’s strange behavior threaten to ruin it all. Missy is forced to decide between the boy she’s always …

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X (James Patterson)

Product details:
Reading level: MG
pages: 238
publisher: Little, Brown and Company (July 21, 2008)
ISBN: 9780316002929
Source: my own copy
read it in 2.5 hours



He was born with great power
The greatest superpower of all isn't to be part spider, part man, or to cast magic spells--the greatest power is the power to create.

Daniel X has that power.

And a deadly secret
Daniel's secret abilities - like being able to manipulate objects and animals with his mind or to recreate himself in any shape he chooses - have helped him survive. But D...moreHe was born with great power
The greatest superpower of all isn't to be part spider, part man, or to cast magic spells--the greatest power is the power to create.

Daniel X has that power.

And a deadly secret
Daniel's secret abilities - like being able to manipulate objects and animals with his mind or to recreate himself in any shape he chooses - have helped him survive. But Daniel doesn't have a normal life. He is the protector o…

Cover Appeal: Monsters (Halloween edition)

Halloween is just a few days away, so I thought this week's Cover Appeal post should be all about monsters. Of course, not all monsters are scary. Some could be down right scrumptious (True Blood, anyone?).






and what would Halloween be without Frankenstein? In honor of my all-time favorite "monster" I had to share Neil Shusterman's cover for UnWholly. It is the ultimate modern Frankenstein

Cover Appeal: ghosts

Another Halloween costume staple is the ghost. It's the perfect last minute costume idea for your child, cheap and easy Halloween decor, and can be made both friendly or menacing.

This week's Cover Appeal feature is dedicated to the ghost.