Cover Alert: Emily Windsnap and the Land of the Midnight Sun

Mermaids AND an Alaskan setting? Oh man! How could anything be better? Seriously.

If you've ever been the land of midnight sun, then you know how magical it is. The mirror like stillness of the azure colored water reflecting the towering glaciers from above is breathtaking. Now Liz Kessler is making Alaska the setting of the 6th book in her middle grades Emily Windsnap mermaid series.

The book will release in the UK in September 2012, but won't make its way to the US until Spring 2013.



Emily Windsnap and the Land of the Midnight Sun (Emily Windsnap #5)


Emily and Aaron are sent on a top secret mission by King Neptune. The king has been having nightmares he doesn't understand and he knows only that Emily and Aaron must go to the Land of the Midnight Sun to avoid catastrophe. But when the friends arrive in this icy world of mountains and glaciers, they uncover a mystery more dangerous than they ever imagined. With the help of her best friends and a brave heart can Emily survive and fulfil her mission?
 
 


 
I also think it's interesting that this is the only book in the series (so far) that does not feature a mermaid on the cover. Maybe there will be a different cover for the US book that will feature the tell-tale whimsical mermaid that I love (I sure hope so at least). 


30 for my 30th

The day that I thought would never come has arrived. I turned 30 this month. I feel like it should hold more importance to me, but it doesn't. Another year, another number. Honestly, I've felt 30 for the last 10 years. (Kids will make you feel old before your time. haha) I know my husband was expecting me to mope around and act depressed about entering this new decade, but he'll just have to be disappointed. Maybe in 10 years he'll get that reaction he was looking for.

But since this was a "monumental" birthday-- or so Hallmark likes to tell me-- I thought it would be appropriate to create a list of my all-time 30 favorite books. These aren't all YA books because (let's be fair) I've been reading longer than the "YA" label should allow. I was one of those nerdy kids asking for Shakespeare when I was 13. One might argue that my taste in books has regressed over the years. =) But I know otherwise...

These are my favorites (in no particular order)

1. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
2. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
3. Animal Farm by George Orwell
4. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
6. Persuasion by Jane Austin
7. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
8. The Little Prince by Antoine de St. Exupery
9. The Twilight Saga (don't judge me) by Stephenie Meyer
10. Unwind by Neil Shusterman
11. UnWholly by Neil Shusterman
12. Lost Voices and Waking Storms by Sarah Porter
13. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
14. The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
15. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
16. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
17. A Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Chris Healey
18. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
19. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
20. Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
21. Going Underground by Susan Vaught
22. Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
23. Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce
24. The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen
25. Ophelia by Lisa Klein
26. The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde
27. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
28. Whirligig by Paul Fleischman
29. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
30. Across the Universe by Beth Reavis


This list could really keep going, but I had to cut it off at 30. I know I've many, many, many other books along the way that I adored, but these were the ones that have lingered in my mind long after the cover has been closed.

I would like to know though, what books would show up on your list?


Cover Alert: Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels (Helene Boudreau)

Have you read Helene Boudreau's super cute middle grades series yet? If not, you should. Especially if you love a good mermaid story!

Ther series starts with Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings and continues with Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath. Now, there is a third book in the adorable series swimming our way: Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels.

Check out this adorable cover! (and don't you wish you had those curves when you were 14!)




 Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels


In this third installment, Jade is really ready for life to return to normal - even if ninth grade is like being a goldfish in a shark tank and being asked to Junior Prom means Jade must get over her fear of awkward dancing. But there is unrest in the ocean, and the whole mer-world is on the brink of civil war. Can Jade find a plus-sized junior prom dress that doesn't look like a shower curtain, keep her mer-ness a secret, and finally figure out if she and Luke are officially dating?
 


Mid-book review: UnWholly (Neil Shusterman)

UnWholly (Unwind, #2) 

Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simltaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.

Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself.

Rife with action and suspense, this riveting companion to the perennially popular Unwind challenges assumptions about where life begins and ends—and what it means to live.



Ohmysweetgoodness! If you haven't read this series, you should slap yourself. Right now. I though Unwind was one of the best books I've ever read, but I was wrong. The sequel, UnWholly, is beyond words. I'm only half way through the book and it has blown me away. There are so many layers to discuss! I don't even know where the begin. 

If you read the synopsis, then you'll notice that this is a modern Frankenstein story. That's not the main plot, but it's certainly a huge element. I am absolutely blown away by the genius of Neil Shusterman. He has taken a dystopian novel and given it such a spin that it becomes a philosophical inquiry. The whole element of pro-life/pro-choice and deciding where life begins and ends is deep. Maybe teenage readers won't think that deeply, but I guarantee it will open a door for discussion. This is pure literary genius! 

When it comes time to write this full review, I don't know how I'll do it. How can you find words to describe such amazing characters and an intricate and deeply complicated plot that tells various "stories" independently, but somehow manages to make them merge into the ultimate climatic scene of all time? You can't. No amount of words and phrases will do this book justice. 

So move over Hunger Games and Twilight. When Unwind hits the silver screen, I will be camped out to buy tickets weeks in advance. I am declaring myself as the new Unwind fangirl.


Mini-Review: Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath (Helene Boudreau)

Product Details:
Reading Level: MG
Pages: 231
Publisher: May 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
ISBN: 9781402264467
Source: ARC from Netgalley



Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath 
Jade begins her summer confused. Yes, there's that whole "will this be a leg-day or a tail-day" kind of confusion, but Jade's got even bigger problems: it's been three weeks since Mom returned to the ocean with no news of her whereabouts. Plus, it's been twenty-one days since Jade first kissed her mer-boy Luke and now-nothing.

Will Mom find the enchanted tidal pool that will allow her to become human? And why is Luke acting so weird? 






One word for this book: cute. The cover drew my attention first. I mean, how cute is it? I love that the mermaid tail is drawn on a chalk board and looks like it could or could not be attached to the girl. Super cute. That air of whimsy carries over into the book as well. 

I did not read the first book in the series, but that didn't seem to matter. The author does a nice enough job of highlighting the main points from the earlier plot without retelling every single detail. As I've said, I had fun reading Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath, but it didn't "wow" me. I'm not sure why I didn't find myself caught up in the story. It was a fast read that I enjoyed, but it didn't really leave a lasting impression. I'm sure a tweenage reader would appreciate it more than me. 

I really don't have a lot to say because it didn't wow me. The story line was tightly woven and consistent, which is always a must for a good story. That much I did appreciate. The characters were "cute" and came across as wholesome. I think that was the biggest issue I had with the story. The characters were too perfect and everything seemed to wrap itself up with a nice little bow in the end. I need more conflict in my books! But, like I said, it's probably just right for younger readers.

Cover Alert: Deep Betrayal (Lies Beneath #2)

I love mermaid stories! Plain and simple. So I spent a little bit of time today stalking the virtual shelves compiling a list of MG-friendly merstories for a friend's daughter. While I was doing that, I came across the cover for Deep Betrayal (Lies Beneath #2). How this beauty escaped my radar until now, I have NO idea, but I can safely say that I LOVE IT. I loved Lies Beneath and marked Deep Betrayal as a "to read" on Goodreads before I finished book 1. I can't wait until March 2013 to get here so I can continue Calder's story.

If you haven't read Lies Beneath, you can read my 4 star review HERE (and then go get a copy for yourself).




Deep Betrayal (Lies Beneath #2)
It's been thirty days, two hours, and seventeen minutes since Calder left Lily standing on the shores of Lake Superior. Not that she's counting. And when Calder does return, it's not quite the reunion Lily hoped for. Especially after she lets her father in on a huge secret: he, like Calder, is a merman. Obsessed with his new identity, Lily's dad monopolizes Calder's time as the two of them spend every day in the water, leaving Lily behind.

Then dead bodies start washing ashore. Calder blames his mermaid sisters, but Lily fears her father has embraced the merman's natural need to kill. As the body count grows, everyone is pointing fingers. Lily doesn't know what to believe—only that whoever's responsible is sure to strike again. . . .
 


What do you think? It doesn't seem like a merfolk story at all when you look at the cover! I think that's one of the things that I like the most about it. Not to mention the obvious play on words with the titles: LIES Beneath.... What lies beneath the water's depths? What lies can you find beneath the water's edge? eh, eh?  and now we have Deep Betrayal. Again, an allusion to water's depth but so much more!

Cover Appeal: Villains

This week is all about villains! (I probably should have saved this for closer to Halloween, but oh well.)

Some of these really creep me out, but I think they would make great stories about villains.


Witch


Goblin
 
Evil Queen Fashion
 
Villain?
 
Maleficient Eyeshadow
 
Aphrodite
 
peace...

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