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Book Blast for PRINCESS MADELINE AND THE DRAGON

About the BooksTitle: The Escape of Princess Madeline (Princess Madeline Trilogy, Book #1) Author: Kirstin Pulioff Publication Date: November 4, 2012 Publisher: Caliburn Books Number of pages: 138 Recommended age: 10+ Summary: The Kingdom of Soron is known for many things, its rolling landscape, haunting history, fiery sunsets, and its beautiful princess. Princess Madeline woke on her sixteenth birthday to realize that her future had been planned out, a life full of privilege, royalty, and boredom... a life with a husband and knight champion that she did not choose. Using her charm, strength and stubbornness, she defies the King at every turn, determined to keep her freedom on her terms. Freedom quickly turns to disaster as she finds herself seized by a group of wandering bandits. With the kingdom in turmoil over her capture; her Knight Champion eager to prove himself, a group of dedicated suitors determined to win her hand, and a group of exiled wizards join forces in the hunt t…

Review: Anatomy of a Single Girl (Daria Snadowsky)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 277
Publisher: January 8th 2013 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780385737982
Genre: contemporary
Source: copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review


With Judy Blume-like honesty and insight, this sequel to Anatomy of a Boyfriend is about life after first love--romance, sex, friendship, family, and the ups and downs of life as a single girl.

After everything that happened—my first boyfriend, my first time, my first breakup—jumping back into the dating game seemed like the least healthy thing I could do. It’s not that I didn’t want to fall in love again, since that’s about the best feeling ever. But as a busy college premed still raw from heartbreak, which is the worst feeling ever, I figured I’d lie low for a while. Of course, as soon as I stopped looking for someone, an impossibly amazing—and devastatingly cute—guy came along, and I learned that having a new boyfriend is the quickest way to recover from losing your old on…

Review: Trafficked (Sophie Hayes)

The Deets:
Audience: Older YA+
Pages: 308
Publisher: January 19th 2012 by Harpercollins Publishers            
ISBN: 9780007438884
Genre: nonfiction, memoir
Source: eARC from Netgalley


When Sophie Hayes met Bledi she knew he'd change her life – but she had no idea how much. At first, it was a typical whirlwind romance. But one day Bledi told her that love always comes at a price ...

Bledi tricked Sophie into travelling to Italy, where he forced her to sell her body to help him pay off a debt. Terrified and ashamed, Sophie worked the dangerous Italian streets without rest, seeing as many as 30 clients in a night. She was completely at Bledi′s mercy for food, clothes and shelter. And without money, friends or family, she was trapped.

But Sophie found the strength to keep going, clinging to life by a single thread of hope: that somehow she′d find a way to escape.


I have mixed feelings toward this book.

First and foremost, the content and basis of this horrific story is terrif…

review: Anatomy of a Boyfriend (Daria Snadowsky)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 272
Publisher:
ISBN:
Genre: contemporary
Source: a copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review


Before this all happened, the closest I'd ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it's not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body.

Then I met Wes, a track star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn't believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing—and touching—parts of the body I'd only read about in my Gray's Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts together that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love.

And then came the fall.




Some books do a fabulous job of showing what goes on inside of…

Review: Allegiant (Veronica Roth)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 526
Publisher: October 22nd 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books          
ISBN: 9780062024060
Genre: sci-fi, dystopian
Source: my own copy



One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?


The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complex…

Review: Hereafter (Kate Brian)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 320
Publisher: October 1st 2013 by Disney-Hyperion
ISBN: 9781423164845
Genre: mystery, paranormal
Source: eARC from publisher via Netgalley






Rory Miller thought her life was over when a serial killer set his sights on her and forced her into witness protection. But a fresh start on Juniper Landing Island was exactly what she and her family needed. For the first time in years she and her sister hang out at the beach, gossip about boys, and party together. She's also made friends with a local clique--including a magnetic and mysterious boy named Tristan.
But Rory's world is about to change again. Picturesque Juniper Landing isn't what it seems. The truth about the swirling fog that rolls in each morning, the bridge that leads to nowhere, and those beautiful locals who seem to watch Rory's every move is more terrifying than being hunted by Steven Nell. And all Rory ever wanted was the truth. Even if it means learning that she can nev…

Picture Book Saturday: Hey, Charleston!

The Deets:

Genre: picture book, nonfiction
Pages: 32
Publisher: November 1st 2013 by Carolrhoda Books
ISBN: 9780761355656
Source: eARC from the publisher via Netgalley




What happened when a former slave took beat-up old instruments and gave them to a bunch of orphans? Thousands of futures got a little brighter and a great American art form was born. In 1891, Reverend Daniel Joseph Jenkins opened his orphanage in Charleston, South Carolina. He soon had hundreds of children and needed a way to support them. Jenkins asked townspeople to donate old band instruments, some of which had last played in the hands of Confederate soldiers in the Civil War. He found teachers to show the kids how to play. Soon the orphanage had a band. And what a band it was.

The Jenkins Orphanage Band caused a sensation on the streets of Charleston. People called the band's style of music ""rag," a rhythm inspired by the African-American people who lived on the South Carolina and Georgia …

Review: The Cutting Room Floor (Dawn Klehr)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 305
Publisher: October 8th 2013 by Flux            
ISBN: 9780738738048
Genre: mystery
Source: eARC from publisher via Netgalley

Behind-the-scenes secrets could turn deadly for Desmond and Riley

Life in the Heights has never been easy for seventeen-year-old Riley Frost, but when she's publicly dumped and outed at the same time, she becomes an immediate social outcast at her high school. So Riley swears off romance and throws herself into solving the shocking murder of her favorite teacher, Ms. Dunn.

Riley turns to her best friend, budding filmmaker Desmond Brandt, for help. What she doesn't know is that Dez has been secretly directing her life, blackmailing her friends, and hoping his manipulations will make her love him. When his schemes go too far, Dez's web of lies threatens to destroy both of their lives.


I am not a huge fan of contemporary books so I was not expecting much from The Cutting Room Floor. I was expecting a weird murde…

Review: Never Fade (Alexandra Bracken)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 512
Publisher: October 15th 2013 by Disney-Hyperion
ISBN: 9781423157519
Genre: paranormal, dystopian
Source: eARC from publisher via NetGalley


Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As R…

Review: Westward to Strange (Ray Litt)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 212
Publisher: Castleberry, Inc
ISBN: 9780615879246
Genre: mystery, mermaid
Source: copy provided by author in exchange for a review




When Lula meets Morgan, the peculiar boy swimming in the cove, her dream life quickly spirals into dangerous waters. Her family’s nebulous history comes to clear, and with it a cornucopia of mysteries. Moon-worshipping cannibal tribes? Killer mermaids? Primal need to explore the forbidden jetties? Sudden nightmares lead Lula to believe that her father’s death might not have been an accident. And to fear that she might very well be the next family member in line.





How do you like your mermaid stories? Do you prefer them to be Disney-esque? Or do you prefer them to teeter on the edge of creepy? If you prefer the latter, Westward to Strange is for you!
The mermaids in Westward to Strange are not friendly. In fact, they are downright terrifying. I have to give the author props for coming up with an original take on a siren. There …

Picture Book Saturday: Boris and Bella

Picture Book Saturday is celebrating Halloween themed books!









Bella Legrossi is the messiest monster in all of Booville. Her slime is the slimiest and her grime is the grimiest. Alas, she is neighbors with Boris Kleanitoff, a persnickety ghoul so tidy he vacuums his vampire bats. What could ever bring these two together? Why, a hoppin' Halloween party, of course!








I have this weird habit of theming my reading material for my youngest son. During the summer, we were surrounded by books with beaches as the setting.  When school started in August, we read 30 books about the first day of school. So you can probably guess what October's theme was. (November is all about the turkey!)

I went on a mad hunt for unique Halloween/October themed books. Of course, I included a few classics on my list, but I mostly focused on the new. Boris and Bella was new to me. And I have to say, I was delighted with this book.

The story is cute. Boris is an OCD neat freak monster, while Bella is a slo…

Picture Book Saturday: Bone by Bone

The Deets:
Genre: picture book, non-fiction
Pages: 32
Publisher: October 1st 2013 by Millbrook Press
ISBN: 9780761384649
Source: eARC from Publisher via Netgalley





What animal would you be if your finger bones grew so long that they reached your feet? Or what if you had no leg bones but kept your arm bones? This picture book will keep you guessing as you read about how human skeletons are like and unlike those of other animals.










I am a big fan of nonfiction for kids. I always buy informational/nonfiction books for my kids to read. I figure, reading is important on its own, so why not get a 2-for-1 deal in the process? On a good day, they might learn something from that book!

Bone by Bone is an informational book that teaches younger readers about different animals and their skeletons through riddles. The most common animals are covered with pretty easy clues. The illustrations are interesting, and I'm certain younger readers will be fascinated by them. I liked that the key …

Review: Sick (Tom Leveen)

The Deets:
Audience: YA (older YA)
Pages: 288
Publisher: October 1st 2013 by Amulet Books
ISBN: 9781419708053
genre: zombies
Source: eARC from publisher via NetGalley


Breakfast Club meets The Walking Dead as a group of unlikely allies tries to survive a deadly outbreak.

Brian and his friends are not part of the cool crowd. They’re the misfits and the troublemakers—the ones who jump their high school’s fence to skip class regularly. So when a deadly virus breaks out, they’re the only ones with a chance of surviving.

The virus turns Brian’s classmates and teachers into bloodthirsty attackers who don’t die easily. The whole school goes on lockdown, but Brian and his best friend, Chad, are safe (and stuck) in the theater department—far from Brian’s sister, Kenzie, and his ex-girlfriend with a panic attack problem, Laura. Brian and Chad, along with some of the theater kids Brian had never given the time of day before, decide to find the girls and bring them to the safety of the theat…

Review: Sex & Violence (Carrie Mesrobian)

The Deets:
Audience: older YA
Pages: 304
Publisher: October 1st 2013 by Carolrhoda LAB
ISBN: 9781467705974
Genre: contemporary
Source: eARC from Netgalley


AT FIRST YOU DON'T SEE THE CONNECTION.

Sex has always come without consequences for seventeen-year-old Evan Carter. He has a strategy--knows the profile of The Girl Who Would Say Yes. In each new town, each new school, he can count on plenty of action before he and his father move again. Getting down is never a problem. Until he hooks up with the wrong girl and finds himself in the wrong place at very much the wrong time.

AND THEN YOU CAN'T SEE ANYTHING ELSE.

After an assault that leaves Evan bleeding and broken, his father takes him to the family cabin in rural Pearl Lake, Minnesota, so Evan's body can heal. But what about his mind?

HOW DO YOU GO ON, WHEN YOU CAN'T THINK OF ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER?

Nothing seems natural to Evan anymore. Nothing seems safe. The fear--and the guilt--are inescapable. He can't sort…

Review: Water (Natasha Hardy)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 314
Publisher: August 16th 2013 by Carina (Harlequin UK)
ISBN: 9781472018076
Genre: mermaids
Source: eARC from publisher via NetGalley



Surrender to the power of the water... Alex knows she is different. She’s plagued by nightmares that feel shockingly real and an intense restlessness she cannot explain. As the long hot summer holidays stretch before her, Alex seeks out adventure in the rugged mountains of Injasuthi. But during a camping trip to the mystic jade pools, Alex meets Merrick, a boy who tells her the shocking truth about herself, and Alex's nightmare is about to become reality. Because Alex is no ordinary teenager...she is a half-mermaid and her adventures are only just beginning.






This cover is stunning! Simply beautiful. I fell in love with it instantly. Then I read the synopsis and realized this was a mermaid story. Score!

I found the idea behind Water to be refreshing. There was a certain mythology that gave it an air of myste…

Interview with Sarah Beth Durst

Have you read Conjured? If not, you need to-- pronto. It's the newest book by Sarah Beth Durst. Author of some of my fave books: Drink, Slay, Love and Vessel.
 (Click the links above to read my reviews of the books)

The lovely Sarah Beth Durst has graciously agreed to stop by for an interview about her newest book, Conjured.


The Book
1.Conjured was like nothing I have read before! It is completely different from your other books. What was it like creating a world full of both benevolent and malevolent magic?
One of the best things about being a writer is being able to play with magic.Beautiful magic.Dangerous magic.I love it all.For Conjured, I was able to explore both sides: Eve can do almost anything, including making the birds in her wallpaper fly around the room, changing the color of her eyes, and flying into the air.But there’s a cost.Every time she uses her magic, she blacks out and experiences terrifying visions of a creepy carnival.
2.What was your favorite scene in the bo…

Mini-Review: The School for Good and Evil (Soman Chainani)

The Deets:
Audience: MG and YA
Pages: 488
Publisher: May 14th 2013 by HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780062104892
Genre: fairy tale, adventure, mystery
Source: library book



This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, whil…

Celebrate Banned Books Week with Jay Asher!

Help spread the word!

Tweet it out: 9/24 @ 3pm EST join #BTGoogleHOA w/ @jayasherguy for #BannedBookWeek-- WIN THIRTEEN REASONS WHY & more http://bit.ly/1aWZCXS

Minute Review: Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonist

The Deets:
Audience: anyone
Pages: 128
Publisher: September 24th 2013 by First Second
ISBN: 9781596438231
genre: graphic novel, fairy tale
Source: eARC from Netgalley.







From favorites like "Puss in Boots" and "Goldilocks" to obscure gems like "The Boy Who Drew Cats," Fairy Tale Comics has something to offer every reader. Seventeen fairy tales are wonderfully adapted and illustrated in comics format by seventeen different cartoonists, including Raina Telgemeier, Brett Helquist, Cherise Harper, and more.





Well this was just fun! It's the perfect combination of graphic novel and fairytale anthology. In this book, you will find the well-known fairytales, but you'll also find a few you might not know about.

For instance, I had never heard of "The Boy Who Drew Cats" or "The Princes and the Tortoise." The stories are well told; they are simple but do not leave out the major elements. I think the format of this book makes each o…