Monday, February 28, 2011

WINNER: This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

The winner of This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost is:


Megan was picked by out of the entries posted.  Megan replied to my Roadtrip to Meet JEANIENE FROST + Signed TSOTG Giveaway!  post with:

"One of my favorite quotes is from Cat: "Once you go dead, no one's better in bed." She said it in One Foot in the Grave. I would have loved to meet those authors! This is a great giveaway!"

Congratulation, Megan!  Please reply to the email that I will shortly send you within 48 hours, or I will have to pick another winner.  Thanks for entering!

Vlog Interview: Kirsten Hubbard, Author of Like Mandarin!

How excited was I when I found out Kirsten Hubbard was doing vlog interviews?!?  Kirsten is a debut YA author.  Her upcoming book, Like Mandarin, releases on March 8th, and I have been looking forward to it since I first heard about it in October. Check out what I asked Kirsten and her answers in the video below! 

I also had a fifth question that Kirsten answered. Unfortunately, there was a technical glitch and it didn't make it onto the vlog.  However, Kirsten wanted to make sure we had an answer, so she sent it along:

Mandarin isn't a name you hear too often.  How and why did you pick that name for this particular character?

When I was 13 through 15, I was obsessed with unusual names. I also kept journals, and for every volume, I'd invent a girl, who I'd draw comics about.

Check out the great pics of Kirsten's HS journal that she sent along. . .

The last girl, in the volume where I finally tapered off, was named Mandarin. Specifically, Mandarin Amanda Day, which I did not recall until I opened that journal just now. Anyway, I never forgot how much I loved the name, and when I created the character, it popped back into my head. Another of my journal girls was named Starling – now the name of a character in Wanderlove. Hopefully, I'll get the chance to use the others!

Ah, Kirsten, I was obsessed with names, too!  I was determined to name a daughter Avalon because I thought it was the Coolest. Name. Ever.  Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing some of your writing and traveling experiences with us!  I love hearing about adventures, and congratulations on your upcoming release!

Anywho, I hope all of you check back here tomorrow when I will post a review of Like Mandarin!  If you would like to see to see the rest of stops on the Teen Scene's Like Mandarin Tour, go here, or you can visit Kirsten's blog, as well.

by Kirsten Hubbard
Realeases on 03.08.2011


It's hard finding beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming, but 14-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it's not her mother's pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild-girl Mandarin Ramey: 17, shameless and utterly carefree. Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin.

When they're united for a project, they form an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town's animal-head trophies, and searching for someplace magic. Grace plays along when Mandarin suggests they run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds plaguing their badlands town.

Because all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin's unique beauty hides a girl who's troubled, broken, and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, no friendship can withstand betrayal. (from GoodReads)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

In My Mailbox (15)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme started by The Story Siren with inspiration from Pop Culture Junkie

This is a great event where we share all the great books we've picked up to read for the week!  Please join us in getting to know one another and sharing great reads! 

Here's what I got this week:

Wow, first off, whooping HUGE thanks to Pam @ Midnyte Reader, who recently held a giveaway for signed copies of Matched, Nightshade, Across the Universe, The Eternal Ones and The Replacement.  Pam was awesome and picked up the copies when she went to a stop on the authors' Breathless Reads tour.  Her post on the event is great, and I highly encourage you to check it out!

Through Pam's giveaway, I won copies of Matched by Ally Condie and Nightshade by Andrea Cremer.  I have reviewed both through library copies I borrowed, but liked them so much that I was thrilled to win the copies - thanks so much, Pam!  I am so looking forward to both their sequels and will be rereading these now!

 From the library:

by Cynthia Hand

Ohhh, baby, I've seen excellent reviews on this one, so I am looking forward to reading it for myself!

For Review:

by Kirsten Hubbard

Can't wait to read this one!  Be sure to stop by tomorrow for my vlog interview with Kirsten!
by Melina Marchetta
Technically, I got the US version, but I am in love with the Aussie cover, so that's the one I'm posting.

by Cristina Garcia

I read Dreaming in Cuban by Garcia in college, and LOVED it.  Can't wait to sink my mind into this one!  Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:

Brought together each summer at a boarding school in Switzerland, three girls learn a lot more than just French and European culture. Shirin, an Iranian princess; Ingrid, a German-Canadian eccentric; and Vivien, a Cuban-Jewish New Yorker culinary phenom, are thrown into each other's lives when they become roommates. This is a story of 3 paths slowly beginning to cross and merge as they spend the year apart, but the summers together. Through navigating the social-cultural shoals of the school, developing their adolescence, and learning the confusing and conflicting legacies of their families' past, Shirin, Ingrid, and Vivien form an unbreakable bond.

Like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, this story takes readers on a journey into the lives of very different girls and the bonds that keep them friends.

That's it from me this week.  What did you get in your mailbox?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Thursday Literary News Roundup (13)

The Thursday Literary News Roundup

Blog Posts of Note:

Imagination in Focus had a GREAT guest post this week with wonderful comments: "Chatting About YA Heroines"

The Gatekeepers Post is holding a writing contest on Wattpad - check out the impressive list of judges!  Click here for details.

Flashlight Worthy put out a list  of "The Best GLBT Young Adult Novels of the New Century".

OH. WOW.  Edward Champion's Reluctant Habits put together a list, by state, of independent bookstores located within driving distances of closed Borders: "List of Independent Alternatives to Closed Borders Bookstores"

BOO on book banning!  Special thanks to Pam at Bookalicious for bringing my attention to a recent case.  The book in question?  Scars by Cheryl Rainfield.

I absolutely loved The Book Smugglers review of the recently released The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier: "From a storytelling perspective, Ms. Neumeier truly shines – just as in her adult work, the world and societies that the author has created with The Floating Islands is truly remarkable stuff."

I love it when a review from another blogger can change my mind about reading a book.  I wasn't sold on Pink by Lili Wilkinson, but after reading this review at Wastepaper Prose, I'm game: "I was genuinely impressed with the depth of characterization, the careful crafting of each groups dynamics, and the development of Ava's relationship with the members of each group." 

Summer Edward's Caribbean Children's Literature had a great feature on a new YA book called Minding Ben Victoria Brown.  This is a little different from the usual fare that we see - the protagonist is a teenaged Trinidadian woman who's come to the U.S. to nanny.  It releases in April.

Abigail from All Things Urban Fantasy wrote a great review for Falling Under by Gwen Hayes: "In the tradition of those aforementioned titles, FALLING UNDER is part gothic romance, part paranormal mystery, and part coming of age story.  It’s breathtakingly written in a way that I think will elevate it above most of it’s peers (excepting maybe SHIVER).  The characters, even the secondary ones, are all given dimension and distinct motivations.  I didn’t necessarily like every character, but I believed they were real."

Confessions of a Bookaholic had a wonderful review on a book I had not heard of called Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors: "Mad Love is a wonderful tale that gives a modern twist to an old mythological creature. It gave a nice spin to my own perception of Cupid and I enjoyed the stories Errol told. Alice's courage made her shine throughout this book and I enjoyed her sweet romance with Tony. If you are a fan of old legends being seen in a modern light, you will enjoy Mad Love."

Articles to Read:

Did you see The New York Times article, "Teenage Wastelands"?  Mostly about dystopian YA lit.  It wasn't too bad, but here is a well-penned response from Liz B. from A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Teacozy.

The School Library Journal reports that vamps are out for YA, but what's in?  Check it out: "Dead Teens, Space Travel the Next Big Things in YA Literature". 

Four independent bookstores have joined forces in St. Louis to help spread the word about what they do for the community.

Borders customers in the U.S. weren't the only ones affected by the recent bankruptcy - check out this article from The Sydney Morning Herald.

An illuminating article from Publishers Weekly on the marketing behind the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa.

The L.A. Times put out a review for Strings Attached by Judy Blundell, the follow-up to the 2008 What I Saw and How I Lied.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have announced this year's 2010 Nebula Award nominees, including the ones for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy

I just came across this recent white paper by Catherine Andronik, a veteran U.S. YA librarian.  She recounts her experience exploring Australian YA while doing research there.  I had to share this with all of you who can't get enough of the wonderful Aussie YA that's out there: "An Initial Exploration of Printz Award Winners from Outside the U.S."

A very interesting article from The New York Times titled "Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter": "Blogs were once the outlet of choice for people who wanted to express themselves online. But with the rise of sites like Facebook and Twitter, they are losing their allure for many people — particularly the younger generation. "  Also discusses a little bit about mircobloging.  You should also check out this great reaction piece from WebProNews to the article refuting some of things said in the NYTimes article.

An interesting op-ed piece on the Amazon/state sales tax controversy from the Seattle Times.

Fan of Rebecca?  Check this out from the UK's The Guardian: "Lost Daphne du Maurier stories discovered"

Great overview from Shelf Awareness on the Tools of Change presentations - if you missed this, you should really check it out!  Lots of great discussion on e-readers, book commerce, and who readers have relationships with in the industry.

The finalists for the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards were announced!  There are both Junior Fiction and Young Adult categories - check it out!

Some sad news.  Chronicles of Narnia executive producer and author of Hero, Perry Moore, has died of a suspected drug overdose.

Buzz: Books & Otherwise

Cover reveal!  

Supernaturally by Keirsten White.

From Penguin YoungReaders: "Richelle Mead, author of the International #1 Bestselling Vampire Academy series, talks about her upcoming series BLOODLINES. Learn about who the narrator will be, which characters may be crossing over from Vampire Academy and how our new heroine is different from Rose." 

According to PopCrush, The Hunger Games film will go into production this Spring (some commentary on strong female leads included, and Pop2it/Zap2it reports that actress Alyson Stoner really wants to play Katniss.  Check out the pics!

Holy crap!  Did you hear that self-published author Amanda Hocking announced that her Trylle Trilogy has been optioned for film?!

I thought this post from the Moviefone Blog was fantastic and well-timed - talks a lot about the the female coming-of-age story gaining a significant presence in film again: "Upcoming Fairy-Tale Flicks and Why Movies Are Getting Grimm"

That's it for this week, kids!  More news and fun stuff to come next week!

If you have any thoughts or suggestions for The Thursday Literary New Roundup, feel free to comment or email me at

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday (15)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.  I highly encourage you to get to know your fellow bloggers and see what's new and upcoming in the book world!

Here's what I'm waiting on:

The Piper's Son
by Melina Marchetta

Aussie Synopsis
(releases on 03.01.2011)
 Melina Marchetta's brilliant, heart-wrenching new novel takes up the story of the group of friends from her best-selling, much-loved book Saving Francesca - only this time it's five years later and Thomas Mackee is the one who needs saving. 

Thomas Mackee wants oblivion. Wants to forget parents who leave and friends he used to care about and a string of one-night stands, and favourite uncles being blown to smithereens on their way to work on the other side of the world. But when his flatmates turn him out of the house, Tom moves in with his single, pregnant aunt, Georgie. And starts working at the Union pub with his former friends. And winds up living with his grieving father again. And remembers how he abandoned Tara Finke two years ago, after his uncle's death. And in a year when everything's broken, Tom realises that his family and friends need him to help put the pieces back together as much as he needs them.

Aussie Cover - YEA!

U.S. Synopsis
(releases on 03.08.2011)
The award-winning author of Finnikin of the Rock and Jellicoe Road pens a raw, compelling novel about a family’s hard-won healing on the other side of trauma.

Award-winning author Melina Marchetta reopens the story of the group of friends from her acclaimed novel Saving Francesca - but five years have passed, and now it’s Thomas Mackee who needs saving. After his favorite uncle was blown to bits on his way to work in a foreign city, Tom watched his family implode. He quit school and turned his back on his music and everyone that mattered, including the girl he can’t forget. Shooting for oblivion, he’s hit rock bottom, forced to live with his single, pregnant aunt, work at the Union pub with his former friends, and reckon with his grieving, alcoholic father. Tom’s in no shape to mend what’s broken. But what if no one else is either? 

An unflinching look at family, forgiveness, and the fierce inner workings of love and friendship, The Piper’s Son redefines what it means to go home again.

Monday, February 21, 2011

REVIEW: This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress #5)
By Jeaniene Frost
Releases on 02.22.2011
384 pages
Source: Purchased at book signing

Danger waits on both sides of the grave.

Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they've triumphed over the latest battle, Cat's new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance . . .

With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing. A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous "ally"—the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war . . . to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.

REVIEW: Oh my God!  My little Kitten is all grown up!

You think I jest, but I am COMPLETELY serious.  TSOTG presents us with a Cat that has matured considerably from the Cat whom we’ve seen in the past four books.  She’s still tough as hell and won’t hesitate to liquidate any threats to her and her loved ones, but this Cat seems to weigh her possible decisions and their consequences a lot more thoroughly than she did previously did.  You would think that becoming a full-on vamp would free her from such pesky mortal concerns; on the contrary, now that she is armed with the knowledge that she could live thousands of years, she seems to be more conscientious with her actions and how they could affect those she cares for.  After all, one wrong move. . .  well, she’s got a long time to live with guilt.

The maturity extends to her relationship with Bones, who, as always, is still ***NomNomNom*** and delivers the best lines that melt this SqueeGirl’s heart.  Observe:

“No matter what happens, you will never lose me,” he whispered.  “I am forever yours, Kitten, in this life or the next.”
-page 245

I don’t how to explain it other than Cat really becomes brave and honest about her love for Bones in this one. . .  in some ways, it makes their passion for each other seem a little quieter than in the previous books, but it’s a beautiful sort of quiet that only comes from true intimacy and acceptance of the other.  Rest assured that this quiet does not extend to the bedroom scenes ***blushes***.  I totally would elaborate on that, but since my blog typically focuses more on the YA side of things, I’ll be a bit demure on the subject. . .  let’s just say the that Cat really compensates for an anticipated prolonged absence ;)

Now, you can get the jist of what happens from the synopsis, but here are SOME things you can count on:

***We knew Marie/Majestic was crazy like a fox from DFAEG, but we really get a true grasp of how far her deviousness and ruthlessness can go in this one.  That girl is not a chess player - she owns the freaking board!

***Um, if you thought that Cat's acquiring and handling of Mencheres' and Vlad's powers was something to see, you ain't seen nothing yet.

***Vlad is back and awesome as always.  IMO, he has the best one-liners in the book.

***A certain someone is back from HTTG.

***No Annette and little Ian, but he makes the most out of his fabulous line.

***More Mencheres and Kira, and Denise and Spade!  And I just love how Mencheres is showing different parts of his personality!  I actually liked him better in this one than Spade!

***Justina does her level best to give Cat heart failure with her new career choice.  Unfortunately, Cat's heart breaks due to another family member. . .

***We learn a little more personal information about Tate that I found very revealing.  .  made me have some real sympathy for him.

***Jeaniene is wonderful and gave a preview of Book #6, One Grave at a Time, at the end of this one (expected publication in September 2011).

I really enjoyed TSOTG.  There was action and intrigue, as always, but somehow this book seemed a little quieter in tone than the first four, and there was certainly less drama between Bones and Cat.  This book, out of all them, really felt like it was Cat's book, too, and not so much the story of Cat & Bones' relationship.  Maybe it’s due to the growth and maturity that Cat and Bones have found in each other, but I also felt that this book may be a bridge of sorts to things that are coming - a quiet before the storm, if you will.  Cat did some real introspection in this one, particularly about her feelings towards Bones – it felt like foreshadowing to me, and it made me so incredibly anxious for book #6. 

So, who's excited for tomorrow?

P.S. Don’t forget about my giveaway to win a SIGNED copy of TSOTG!


Bones snorted.  "Let her?  Mate, if you think you can control a woman, you must be single - and a thousand pounds says she beats your arse.
-page 73

“What the hell was that?”  I gasped
“Premature inflamulation,” he replied.  “Happens sometimes.  Very embarrassing.  I don’t like to talk about it.”
-Cat & Mr. He-SO-Deserves-His-Own-Series, page 134

Aside from my compulsive urge to run my hands over him to assure myself that he really was here, relief, happiness, and the most profound feeling of rightness zoomed through me, settling all the way to my core.  I hadn’t realized how deeply I’d missed Bones until that very moment, hadn’t let myself acknowledge how everything felt off when I was a part from him.  On some levels, it was frightening how much a part of me he’d become.  It let me know just how much I’d crumble if anything ever happened to him.
-page 241

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Roadtrip to Meet JEANIENE FROST + Signed TSOTG Giveaway!

Ahhhh!!  So, a little while back JEANIENE FROST, aka, best author ever, announced that she would be hitting the road for the upcoming release of This Side of the Grave (TSOTG).  TSOTG is Book #5 in the completely wonderful Night Huntress series.  My very first blog post ever was on the Night Huntress series, and if you are into paranormal romance or urban fantasy, you REALLY need to give these books a try!  To learn more, visit Crystal at Reading Between the Wines Book Club - she's been doing an absolutely fantastic overview of the Night Huntress series this past week in honor of Book #5's release this Tuesday!  If you want to find out more, click the button below!

Anywho, the very first tour stop Jeaniene made was this past Saturday at Turn the Page Bookstore in Boonsboro, MD, which is about three hours away from where I live.  I was hemming and hawing, "Do I don't I?  Do I or don't I," when I read the most magically delicious words ever: "Special early release date of THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE for this event only."  I squeeed outloud.  At work.  And promptly told the hubs that I roadtripping it to Maryland with him or without him (it was without).

My hand and my Precious.

 I got there for the event at 11:30 and got my ticket for the 1:45 P.M. group.  I had already called the store and asked them to put several copies of TSOTG on hold.  While waiting in line to purchase the pretties, imagine my surprise when I found the store was owned by Nora Roberts!  Yes, THAT Nora Roberts!  After talking in line a little with a lovely lady named Lauren, I picked up two of Nora's books (Morrigans's Cross & Naked in Death), as well as the first book of the Feral Warriors series by Pamela Palmer based on her suggestions (both were also a part of the signing).  WOOOOOT!  

Oh my, that one on the right **SWOON** 
Nicely done, my dear Pamela.
Lauren was in my group, and since we had a little time to kill, we decided to go and get something to eat.  Unfortunately, the charming cafe across the street was PACKED, but the restaurant right next door had space aplenty. 

Don't let the name deter you - the chicken fingers were tasty.

Afterward, we went back in and found an empty space back in the children's section to sit and read.  However, a group of us started congregating back there and singing the praises of Bones, Vlad, Ian and the rest of the hot, immortal vampy crew.  One woman had an iPad with her and played various scenes from the audio books of the Night Huntress series.  (DISCLAIMER: there were no actual children present in the children's section.  Oh, and we kept the audio low).  MUHAHAHAHA - we got a kick out of listening to the female narrator speak Bones' and Spade's parts, espescially during certain scenes ;)  I have to tell you, this was my first book signing, and I had a MARVELOUS time!  It was so wonderful to sit and talk with other fans about the books we love!  That really made the six hour round trip worth it alone.  The time passed very quickly talking with everyone.

Cat's mouth came from the mind
behind this charming smile

FINALLY, it was my group's turn to line up for signing.  When we got up the table, Jeaniene was sitting there, pretty as you please, and she could not have been more gracious.  When I approached, I said, "You're going to kill me," because I had five books for her to sign (again, this was my first signing - had no idea some people walk out of there with 20 signed books).  She just laughed and said it was no problem at all.  THEN I told her that I let my husband read Chapter 32 from One Foot in the Grave (I'm great with tact).  And she just goes, "Oh, my God, I can't believe people read that out of context," (believe it, Jeaniene - it's ah-some).  I just smiled and said he was very impressed (again, no tact).  She laughed and reminded me to take some slap bracelets - YES MA'AM, you read that right!  Not only did I get TSOTG early, but I got to time travel back to 3rd grade with some TEAM BONES slap bracelet swag!!!  The day could not have been better.  I lurve that bracelet, and I am totally sporting it at work, yes indeedy.

Bones and slap bracelets:
 an oddly justifiable
combination, don't you think?

And yes, I have started reading the book and will have a review up soon.  My initial verdict?  Totally worth the trip!!  I can't wait to see all the reviews!

So you may have noticed that I had FIVE books for Jeaniene to sign . . .  well, what kind of book blogger would I be if I didn't spread the Cat & Bones love?  Two of the books were for people I promised to get one for, one was for me (of course), one is for a future giveaway, and the last one is for one of you!  I have one signed copy of This Side of the Grave up for one lucky reader!  Interested? 

TO ENTER: You must be at least 18 years old and have a U.S. mailing address.

Let's make this fun, shall we? 
 To enter, please leave a comment with the following:

1) Give me your favorite quote from any Night Huntress book or short story.  Quotes MAY NOT be repeated.  Once one is used, it's out (this is a public blog, so please, no sexually explicit quotes - they will be deleted and your entry thrown out).  And yes, you may use quotes from deleted scenes. 
2) Let me know your name or alias, as well as a link to your blog if you have one.
3) Your email address so I can contact you if you win.
4) You may tweet for an extra point - please leave direct link.

We're going to make this a short one since you might anxious to get your hands on book #5 - contest will end on Wednesday, February 23rd at 8:00 P.M., E.S.T.  I will pick a winner that night and will have the book in the mail the next day.  Let me kick things off with a quote from This Side of the Grave:

"Bones snorted.  "Let her?  Mate, if you think you can control a woman, you must be single - and a thousand pounds says she beats your arse."

There you have it - GOOD LUCK!!

In My Mailbox (14)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme started by The Story Siren with inspiration from Pop Culture Junkie

This is a great event where we share all the great books we've picked up to read for the week!  Please join us in getting to know one another and sharing great reads! 

Here's what I got this week:

by Leanne Hall


A guy who howls. A girl on a mission to forget.

In the suburb of Shyness, where the sun doesn’t rise and the border crackles with a strange energy, Wolfboy meets a stranger at the Diabetic Hotel. She tells him her name is Wildgirl, and she dares him to be her guide through the endless night.

But then they are mugged by the sugar-crazed Kidds. And what plays out is moving, reckless...dangerous. There are things that can only be said in the dark. And one long night is time enough to change your life.

by Jeaniene Frost


Danger waits on both sides of the grave.

Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they've triumphed over the latest battle, Cat's new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance . . .

With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing. A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous "ally"—the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war . . . to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.

by Lauren DeStefano


Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

by David Stahler


High school senior Frenchy has little ambition beyond hanging out at the smoking rock until his best friend, the ever-witty and conniving Stewart, gets him to try out for Man of la Mancha. To everyone's surprise, the guys are a hit. But when Stewart's antics begin to grow more obsessive—he wears his costume 24/7, freaks out about little details, and displays an incessant hatred of the high-tech windmills outside of town—Frenchy worries that there's something deeper going on. Is Stewart spiraling into madness, just like Don Quixote? And can Frenchy battle through his own demons in time to save his friend from self-destruction before it's too late?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Thursday Literary News Roundup (12)

The Thursday Literary News Roundup 

Blog Posts of Note:

***my apologies that the Blog Posts of Note is a bit shorter than usual - had to deal with some sudden news this week and had to cut my blog browsing time a little short.

Forever YA gave a beautiful review on a March release on a book I hadn't heard of before, and now I can't wait to get my hands on it.   Erin says of What Can(t) Wait by Ashley Hope Perez: "alright, you guys are gonna have to bear with me here, because while I can delightfully skewer something like Flowers in the Attic with one hand tied behind my back while also performing complex yoga poses, it’s a lot harder for me to write a review for a book I love without basically dissolving into tears and exclamation marks and screaming “JUST READ IT OKAY!!!” to various passers-by." Actin' Up with Books also posted a great interview with the author - definitely worth checking out!

Midnight Book Girl reviewed Stay by Deb Caletti and had this to say: "Stay explores the darker side of romance and shows that not all types of love are healthy.  There are signs in the very beginning that Christian isn't quite right, but Clara falls for him almost instantly and at first interprets  the warning signs as proof that Christian loves her."  Stay releases in April.

Great review on The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta from Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing: "There is so much anger, grief and betrayal floating around that family that it is hard to see how they've stuck together for so long. But, there is undeniably also a lot of love, and that is what holds them together past all the hurts. It's almost palpable." 

Lovely review by Bookworming in the 21st Century on By These Ten Bones by Clare B. Dunkle: "Dunkle does a marvelous job of melding beautiful scenery with a myth that is both gruesome and evil and the result is terrifyingly wonderful. Definitely a book you won't be able to put down once you start reading."

Articles to Read:

This is a well-timed article from The Economist: "Young Adult Fiction: From the Cairo Slums".  It's a review of new book called The Glass Collector by Anna Perera.

The Library Journal posted its results from this year's Book Buying Survey for Public Libraries.  Some good and some not-so-good.

Wow - great article from the Boston Herald, "Writer, 16, finds millions of readers online".  Oh, and the story she writes?  A student/teacher relationship, believe it or not.

I really enjoyed reading "The Work, Not the Author, Matters" from the Wall Street Journal.  Authorial fallacies and all that jazz.

Daemon's Books wrote a nice article that built upon the L.J. Smith/Alloy Entertainment controversy: "The Business Behind Young Adult Novels". 

If you are wild about Aussie YA, why not look at some non-YA fiction from there, as well?  Reuters just reported on the AU's IP picks, "Post-apocalyptic novel wins Australian book award".  Sounds intriguing!

From "Gary Paulsen's Winning Formula for Writing YA Survival Novels".

MoMaFilm has a nice post on, "YA fiction's knife crime lessons:Beyond the hysterical headlines, the best of these novels help explain these young offenders to us – and them"

Oh. My, Gears.  An entire town in Massachusetts is going steampunk for a weekend in May!  Waltham, MA is the place, and check out the opening to their global invitation: "Dear fellow chrono-adventurers, neo-Victorian madpeople, and Steampunks of every stripe, sort, origin, and variety:  The Charles River Museum of Industry, in conjunction with Jeff Mach, is offering you something hitherto unknown in the history of our humble movement:  A Steampunk weekend spanning an entire town!  And we invite you to be a part of it!"  It looks incredible!!

Here's a great article from The Irish Times with more on the history of steampunk and how it's turned from a sub-genre into a subculture.

Hey, have you heard about Bookigee?  It's a new thing to help you find books you might like.  It actually looks really neat - check out more from Shelf Awareness.

Great article from New York Daily News on Christopher Grant, the author of Teenie: "First-time author and Brooklyn native pens most of his young adult novel during commute"

The CYBILS Award Winners were announced!

Buzz: Books & Otherwise

Mortal Instruments author Cassandra Clare posted a video on things that definitely will NOT be happening in book #4!

Susie Wilson wrote a great review of the 2011 Stonewall prize winner, Almost Perfect, by Brian Katcher for The New Jersey Newsroom:  "Prize-winning novel ‘Almost Perfect' puts you inside the life of a transgendered teen".

Publishers Weekly announced that Simon and Schuster has signed an author for a new trilogy: "S&S Signs Up New YA Trilogy by Tonya Hurley". The new series will be, "a contemporary, supernatural romance that is a reimagining of the martyrdom legends of three saints."

Author Mike Frost has also signed on for a YA trilogy with Random House called "Will West: The Epic".  Frost also has penned eight adult novels, as well as big-budget screenplays.

An independent comic book called Darkchylde will be turned into a young adult series.

Summit Entertainment has optioned rights for Veronica Roth's upcoming dystopian release Divergent according to New York MagazineThe book releases in May, and it sounds like it has a very unique premise! has announced that Emma Watson has signed on to star  in the film adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Watson also is reported to be a top contender for the role of Claudia in the Incarceron film starring opposite of Taylor Lautner.

A director has been chosen for the film adaptation of Stephanie Meyer's The Host, according to

According to Sci-Fi author Tobias Buckell, Subterreanean Magazine is coming out with a YA issue very soon!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

REVIEW: Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal (website)
Released on 01.11.2011
354 pages
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Library


When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York--and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn't think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari's family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future.

When misfortune befalls Blake's family, he pulls away, and Ari's world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else? (from GoodReads)

REVIEW:  Oh my. . . this book was tender aching, lovely loneliness, and finally, quiet confidence. 

This is a book I think almost anyone can appreciate and relate to.  If you’re older, you are going to think about your first serious romance and let your mind roll over the nostalgia, good or bad.  If you are Ari’s age and in a relationship of your own, you might laugh, commiserate and nod in agreement.  If you still are waiting for your first ‘real’ relationship, Ari’s story might simultaneously make you want one more and caution that a heart that loves is also a heart that can be crushed.  Ari is every girl, and I don’t mean that she’s a two-dimensional character; I mean that her thoughts, hopes, disappointments and emotions are ones we universally share.  It’s a rare person who hasn’t had almost all the same reactions that Ari has, even the darkest, saddest ones. 

That being said, there is something more to this book than being a coming-of-age tale about first love.  It’s about the different types of love we carry, and how the affection and commitment we have for one person affects our relationships that we have with others.  In the beginning, I think this is why Ari’s yearning for someone to care for her is so acute.  Her family does love her, but she lives in the shadow of her sister’s life choices and her mother’s expectations.  Her relationship with her father is a distant one, and it seems that while she certainly is loved, there is little said in words or actions by her family that shows she is truly appreciated.  Too often, the family’s care over one of the more fragile and selfish members of the family causes them to expect Ari to sacrifice emotionally.  Ari gets it, but for a girl who already feels like she is nothing special, it still stings.  When how she ought to treat others is at odds with her own desires, Ari also learns that mirrors reflect both ways, and that she, too, is capable of stinging others.

It’s a wonderfully written story, with hallmarks and benchmarks of growing up being woven through the narrative of everyday living.  I think that’s what I appreciated most.  So often in these stories, the self-analysis and introspection that the protagonist takes us through is very involved and detailed.  Ari has her depressing moments, but I’d say for about a good two-thirds of the book, it’s almost as if she won’t admit to herself how she really feels, or she’ll briefly acknowledge the truth of her emotions without actually feeling them.  Very often, Ari’s fixes her own self-assessment onto the Saint Anne statue that the previous homeowners left behind.  There is also a true honesty and authenticity in Ari's family, and the way they treat each other continuously moves the story along.  I don't usually see each individual's personal characteristics come out, and I think the author really nailed this.

Other Words for Love: I don’t think the title is so much about the actual ‘other’ words so much as the actions we hope convey our affections.  Sometimes we fall short, and sometimes we have to choose between the different types of love we have among those we care for.  The book is a reminder that emotions ebb and flow, and sometimes people grow out of relationships the same way they grow into them.  True love, did Ari have it?  No, but I think she did love Blake, and the first time you care for someone like that, it changes your world to realize you can feel that deeply.  Ari learned hard lessons from it, but they are ones she can carry forward for the rest of her life.  Towards the end my mind drifted a little bit, but I loved the resolution.  It's certainly not a Hollywood ending, but part of me feels very proud of Ari.  I hope you will, too.


“. . . I figured that breasts and hips were the things that made you a grown-up and grown-ups weren’t supposed to cry at all, but if they did, they had to do it alone, locked in a bathroom or in the car when nobody else was there, and if anyone noticed their bloodshot eyes, they had to shake it of and be all stoic and say Oh, I’m just fine.

            I believed this for a few years.  I believed it and bravely accepted it until the first time I saw Evelyn cry to Patrick and he held her and stroked her hair, and I thought it was the most hopeful thing I’d ever seen.”
-Ari, page 99

“I also thought of Evelyn, and I wondered if Blake and I had something in common.  We were both trying to make up for things we hadn’t even done.”
-Ari, page 135

“‘You’re too pretty,’ he said when we were done.

I was?  Those three words sent me floating over my lawn.  The grass was growing in thick and green, and Saint Anne didn’t seem lonely and old and chipped.  Her dress was bright blue, her shawl was sparkly gold.  She and little Mary looked like they were having a good day.”
-Blake & Ari, page 166

“My happiness hindered my sleep.  I stared at my bedroom ceiling later on, thinking about Blake, remembering the way he had touched me.  He was careful and gentle, as if I was fragile and important, like I was the soft spot on a baby’s head.”
-Ari, page 168

Waiting on Wednesday (14)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.  I highly encourage you to get to know your fellow bloggers and see what's new and upcoming in the book world!

Here's what I'm waiting on:

by Leigh Fallon
Releases on 09.13.2011
Pre-order it on Amazon


A move to Ireland is about to introduce Megan to her destiny, her real destiny, can she embrace it and will she survive it?

A tragedy in Megan’s past set her on a predetermined course. A chain of events has been set in motion that brings Megan to Kinsale, a small town in the south of Ireland where her destiny awaits her. Her life starts to fall into place as she makes new friends and settles into her new school. However, the reclusive and distant Adam DeRĂ­s calls to her body and soul.

She finds herself increasingly drawn to Adam and his strange family. Adam knows a secret from her past and he and his family hold the key to her future. A future that binds her to Adam and his world, a world of power, mystery and ancient orders. A world that unbeknownst to her, she very much belongs in.

Sounds awesome, doesn't it?  Leigh is debuting with this book, so wish her luck!

So, what are you waiting on?