February 23rd, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Book I Enjoyed Recently That Weren’t My Typical Genre

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week topic is Ten Book I Enjoyed Recently (last yearish) That Weren’t My Typical Genre/Type of Book. Since I don’t know that I have a “genre” anymore per say I’m going to change this one a little to books I picked up to keep my RA skills sharp. None of these are outside my comfort zone, but I wouldn’t have picked them up if I weren’t trying to keep my bag-of-tricks well rounded

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Book I Enjoyed Recently That Weren’t My Typical Genre
Don't Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche

Michelle and her little siblings Cass and Denny are African-American and living on the poverty line in urban Baltimore, struggling to keep it together with their mom in jail and only Michelle’s part-time job at the Taco Bell to sustain them. Leah and her stepbrother Tim are white and middle class from suburban Maryland, with few worries beyond winning lacrosse games and getting college applications in on time. Michelle and Leah only have one thing in common: Buck Devereaux, the biological father who abandoned them when they were little. After news trickles back to them that Buck is dying, they make the uneasy decision to drive across country to his hospice in California. Leah hopes for closure; Michelle just wants to give him a piece of her mind. Five people in a failing, old station wagon, living off free samples at food courts across America, and the most pressing question on Michelle’s mind is: Who will break down first--herself or the car? All the signs tell her they won’t make it. But Michelle has heard that her whole life, and it’s never stopped her before.... Una LaMarche triumphs once again with this rare and compassionate look at how racial and social privilege affects one family in crisis in both subtle and astonishing ways.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Book I Enjoyed Recently That Weren’t My Typical Genre
One by Sarah Crossan

Grace and Tippi. Tippi and Grace. Two sisters. Two hearts. Two dreams. Two lives. But one body.
Grace and Tippi are conjoined twins, joined at the waist, defying the odds of survival for sixteen years. They share everything, and they are everything to each other. They would never imagine being apart. For them, that would be the real tragedy.
But something is happening to them. Something they hoped would never happen. And Grace doesn’t want to admit it. Not even to Tippi.
How long can they hide from the truth—how long before they must face the most impossible choice of their lives?

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Book I Enjoyed Recently That Weren’t My Typical Genre
Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan

Thirteen-year-old Habo has always been different—light eyes, yellow hair and white skin. Not the good brown skin his family has and not the white skin of tourists. Habo is strange and alone. His father, unable to accept Habo, abandons the family; his mother can scarcely look at him. His brothers are cruel and the other children never invite him to play. Only his sister Asu loves him well. But even Asu can't take the sting away when the family is forced from their small Tanzanian village, and Habo knows he is to blame. 
Seeking refuge in Mwanza, Habo and his family journey across the Serengeti. His aunt is glad to open her home until she sees Habo for the first time, and then she is only afraid. Suddenly, Habo has a new word for himself: Albino. But they hunt Albinos in Mwanza because Albino body parts are thought to bring good luck. And soon Habo is being hunted by a fearsome man with a machete. To survive, Habo must not only run, but find a way to love and accept himself.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Book I Enjoyed Recently That Weren’t My Typical Genre
Tokyo Ghoul, Vol. 1 (Tokyo Ghoul, #1) by Sui Ishida, Joe Yamazaki

Shy Ken Kaneki is thrilled to go on a date with the beautiful Rize. But it turns out that she’s only interested in his body—eating it, that is. When a morally questionable rescue transforms him into the first half-human half-Ghoul hybrid, Ken is drawn into the dark and violent world of Ghouls, which exists alongside our own.

 
Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Book I Enjoyed Recently That Weren’t My Typical Genre
The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson

Jackson Greene has reformed. No, really he has. He became famous for the Shakedown at Shimmering Hills, and everyone still talks about the Blitz at the Fitz.... But after the disaster of the Mid-Day PDA, he swore off scheming and conning for good.

Then Keith Sinclair -- loser of the Blitz -- announces he's running for school president, against Jackson's former best friend Gaby de la Cruz. Gaby hasn't talked to Jackson since the PDA, and he knows she won't welcome his involvement. But he also knows Keith has "connections" to the principal, which could win him the election whatever the vote count.

So Jackson assembles a crack team to ensure the election is done right: Hashemi Larijani, tech genius. Victor Cho, bankroll. Megan Feldman, science goddess and cheerleader. Charlie de la Cruz, point man. Together they devise a plan that will bring Keith down once and for all. Yet as Jackson draws closer to Gaby again, he realizes the election isn't the only thing he wants to win.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Book I Enjoyed Recently That Weren’t My Typical Genre
The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other) by Geoff Rodkey

Twelve-year-old fraternal twins, Claudia and Reese, couldn't be more different...except in their determination to come out on top in a vicious prank war! But when the competition escalates into an all-out battle that's fought from the cafeteria of their New York City private school all the way to the fictional universe of an online video game, the twins have to decide if their efforts to destroy each other are worth the price.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Book I Enjoyed Recently That Weren’t My Typical Genre
Assassination Classroom, Vol. 1 by Yūsei Matsui, Tetsuichiro Miyaki

The students in Class 3-E of Kunugigaoka Junior High have a new teacher: an alien octopus with bizarre powers and unlimited strength, who's just destroyed the moon and is threatening to destroy the earth - unless they can kill him first!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Book I Enjoyed Recently That Weren’t My Typical Genre
Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown

Samantha Donaldson's family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, mathematics, and complex puzzles, hoping to make him proud.

When Sam is asked to join the famed women's spy group La Dame Blanche, she's torn—while this could be an unbelievable adventure, how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes she can't refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.

Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known only as Velvet. Deep undercover in the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Sam must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she must fight a forbidden attraction to the enemy—a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Sam find Velvet before it's too late . . . for them both?

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Book I Enjoyed Recently That Weren’t My Typical Genre
My Neighbor Seki, 1 by Takuma Morishige

Toshinari Seki takes goofing off to new heights. Every day, on or around his school desk, he masterfully creates his own little worlds of wonder, often hidden to most of his classmates. Unfortunately for Rumi Yokoi, his neighbor at the back of their homeroom, his many games, dioramas, and projects are often way too interesting to ignore; even when they are hurting her grades.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Book I Enjoyed Recently That Weren’t My Typical Genre
Bounders by Monica Tesler

Thirteen years ago, Earth Force—a space-military agency—discovered a connection between brain structure and space travel. Now they’ve brought together the first team of cadets, called Bounders, to be trained as high-level astronauts.

Twelve-year-old Jasper is part of this team being sent out into space. After being bullied back on Earth, Jasper is thrilled to have something new and different to do with other kids who are more like him. While learning all about the new technologies and taking classes in mobility—otherwise known as flying with jetpacks—Jasper befriends the four other students in his pod and finally feels like he has found his place in the world.

But then Jasper and his new friends learn that they haven’t been told everything about Earth Force. They weren’t brought to space for astronaut training, but to learn a new, highly classified brain-sync technology that allows them to manipulate matter and quantum bound, or teleport. And it isn’t long before they find out this new technology was actually stolen from an alien society.

When Jasper and his friends discover the truth about why Earth Force needs them, they are faced with a choice: rebel against the academy that brought them together, or fulfill their duty and protect the planet at all costs.

February 17th, 2016

RELEASES I’M EXCITED FOR: FEB 16TH – 29TH

Here are some February releases I’m excited for. (All covers link to goodreads)

9780062360496_1354d 9780547235561_eacae 9780553539639_d1d05 9781481431842_aed15 9780545867474_5a0ba9780545907170_321a6 9780553497786_55808 9781595147677_c182e 9780807581407_d74b4 258611402567372425813245

February 2nd, 2016

Releases I’m Excited For: Feb 1st – 15th

Here are some February releases I’m excited for. (All covers link to goodreads)

9781481438711_bfc14 41X9DwAT+8L 9781481447379_6e815 9781481432696_3be56  9781481432047_525d7 9780553534108_b455a 9780553512816_2cc3d 9780062382863_af3d3  9780062366153_69fe5 9780062363787_43c69 9780062360243_9e867 9780062347879_f0560 9780062094223_ccd96

November 8th, 2015

MIA

I’ve been a bit MIA around here lately. I’m not going to apologize, but I do want to let you know what I’ve been up to!

Most of my energy has been going into a new (and awesome) collab I started with other teen librarians. It’s called Teen Services Underground. If you’re a teen librarian, you need to check it out. We cover RA, programs, resources, and much more. We also have a very active FB group where you can network/bounce ideas off of other teen services people.

I have been reviewing, just not a lot of books (although, I have been reading!) I’ve been doing a lot of random products from health to beauty to electronics and everything in between. You can check that one at at Girlish Geek. 

I’ve got a couple of reviews in the work, so I’m hoping to slowly come back here more and more. I just have to find the balance between them all a little better. I’m hoping now that the other two aren’t so new anymore this will be possible!

In the meantime, please feel free to check out the other sites or talk to me on twitter! That’s all for now!

March 4th, 2015

Book Spotlight: Grift

Today I’m doing a quick spotlight on Grift by Jason Mosberg.

grift-cover

 

Grift follows a crew of orphaned teenage con artists living in Las Vegas. Piper, the main character, masquerades as a prostitute to con rich men. Unlike the others, she must split her time between hustling and raising her younger sister Sophie. Disaster strikes when Sophie gets kidnapped by the Las Vegas mafia, and the crew must rally to piece together the ransom money before the clock runs out.

 

 

 

 

This feels like one of those books that my teens who like edgier books would enjoy. If you’re not sold yet, be sure to check out the Grift-ChapterOne. The book can be bought at AmazoniBooksB&N, or Kobo.

Author Bio:
Jason Mosberg lives in Los Angeles where he works as a screenwriter. He has optioned several feature screenplays to independent financiers. He wrote his first novel   Grift while staying in cheap hotel rooms in Las Vegas. When he’s not writing, Jason can be found playing soccer, walking, and over analyzing everything.Having grown up in Delaware, Jason attended Wake Forest University before he lit out for the west coast. His top five TV shows of all time are The Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Six Feet Under, and Twin Peaks. His one vice is claw machines. On the book side, he is represented by Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger.  Jason can be found on Twitter & Facebook.

September 16th, 2014

Guest Post: Amy Herrick

Today I have Amy Herrick, author of The Time Fetch, talking about what inspires her.

Being often (and currently) a fantasy writer, a seeker after the world-in-back-of-the-world, there is a particular and long list of things I turn to again and again for inspiration.  Inspiration being for me not necessarily what the story is going to be about, but the way to get into it. I often picture myself deep in the woods walking around and around a small house, its windows shuttered, its doors either locked or not visible to the naked eye.  Getting in is the trick. Sometimes one is admitted.  Sometimes it’s a break-in.  Generally, it must be done over and over again each day.  Some days are quite easy.  Some require human sacrifice. The inside, of course, is much bigger than the outside. This, as Dr. Who and anybody who thinks about it ought to know, is one of the key secrets to everything.

Burglary Tools:

books1  inspiration
First, and most stomach-acid producing, is coffee
.

I drink it in small, extremely well-regulated amounts.  A half a cup is sometimes enough to lead me to believe that I can see into the future or walk through walls.

 

Second are my favorite books.

I have a stack that I keep near my desk.  The stack changes with my internal seasons, but there are certain books I reach for again and again, just for pleasure, just to procrastinate, but always in the secret hope that they will unlock a door for me.  Most frequently reached for in recent weeks:  E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, C.S. Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew, Edward Gory’s  The Haunted Looking Glass, Virginia Woolf’sTo the Lighthouse, Garrison Keillor’s collection: Good Poems for Hard Times.

 

 

dogwalk2 inspirationThird, and most important, is my morning walk with the dog in Prospect Park.

Each day when we pass through the gate and no one stops us we’re a little amazed at our luck. Really? No Gatekeeper? No Fee? No Three Questions?  We let ourselves off the leash and head for the lake and the trees and the birds and the rolling green. There is never a morning that we return the same as we went in.   Prospect Park is partly open landscaped garden, partly urban picnic-ground, partly wilderness. It delights, horrifies and humbles us. My dog is lame and no longer youthful, so we must walk very slowly.  We must smell every smell, foul, fair or funky. We must look at every leaf and insect and cloud with meticulous attention:

A delicate and glittering web strung wide between a tree branch and a lamppost, with a teensy bright green spider waiting patiently for her breakfast.

A cicada killer wasp lugging its paralyzed booty down into its dark hole to feed its children.

A beautifully colored rock at the side of the road which turns out to be a turtle gauging the traffic.

It’s hard not to walk back out without some sort of comical new tale: The League of Three-Legged Dogs, The Magically Appearing Boulder, A Proposal by Ambush Under the Bridge, The Return of the Birthday Ribbon Nest.

We watch how the storms and wind change the landscape, how the seasons do their slow inevitable work, the rotting and renewal. We are always reminded that time and place are inextricably woven together and that each morning we enter a park that is not the same park as yesterday.

The closer you look, the more you see.  The inside is always bigger than the outside. The door is right in front of our eyes.

 

 

Amy_Herrick_300dpi (1)
Amy Herrick is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Every morning, she and her dog take a long walk in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York, looking for adventure. They’ve seen and heard many wondrous things there, some of which have served as inspiration for this story. The Time Fetch is her first book for young readers.

You might also like to link to Amy’s website: http://amyherrick.com/
Or her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amy-Herrick-Author/250857638350721
Or Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmyEHerrick

September 16th, 2014

Book Spotlight: Fantasy League

Today I wanted to do a quick spotlight on Fantasy League by Mike Lupica. I’m always on the look out for good sport books and this one seems to fit the bill.
coverArt_fantasyLeague

Twelve-year-old Charlie is a fantasy football guru. He may be just a bench warmer for his school’s football team, but when it comes to knowing and loving the game, he’s first-string. He even becomes a celebrity when his podcast gets noticed by a sports radio host, who plays Charlie’s fantasy picks for all of Los Angeles to hear. Soon Charlie befriends the elderly owner of the L.A. Bulldogs — a fictional NFL team — and convinces him to take a chance on an aging quarterback. After that, watch out . . . it’s press conferences and national fame as Charlie becomes a media curiosity and source of conflict for the Bulldogs general manager, whose job Charlie seems to have taken. It’s all a bit much for a kid just trying to stay on top of his grades and maintain his friendship with his verbal sparring partner, Anna.

 

 

I especially like the fact that while Charlie is a football guru, he’s not a player. I think that’s something a lot of kids can relate to. This one is for sure going on my TBR list as a possible book talk for my Dinner with Books program and May school visits.

Have you read Fantasy League? If so, be sure to leave a comment and tell me what you thought!

 

authorPhoto_mikeLupica
About MIKE LUPICA

Mike Lupica has been called “the greatest sports writer for middle school readers.” He is the author of multiple bestselling books, including Heat, Travel Team, Million-Dollar Throw, and The Underdogs. As a sports columnist for New York’s Daily News, a host of his own show on ESPN Radio, and a weekly member of ESPN’s The Sports Reporters, which is televised nationally, he has proven that he can write for and speak to sports fans of all ages and stripes. Mr. Lupica lives in Connecticut with his wife and four children.

 

August 13th, 2014

Guest Post: Sherry Soule

 

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Today author, Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us! She just published a brand new novel, LOST IN STARLIGHT (paranormal romance with a Sci-Fi concept).

To help promote this interstellar love story, Sherry is doing this guest post to share the news with fellow booklovers.

When Romeo and Juliet Go Intergalactic!

Starlight_Saga_Music_Playlist

STARLIGHT SAGA SONG LIST- #StarlightSaga

Some of the most ambiguous lyrics take on new meaning when you’re writing a book, even correlating to some of the scenes or giving insight into Hayden and Sloane’s romantic relationship. Sherry has put together just a few of the awesome songs—a collection of her character’s electric tastes in music—mentioned throughout this epic new series in this post. Enjoy!

“Still Into You” by Paramore

“Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons:

“Boom Boom Pow” by Black Eyed Peas

“Titanium” song by Sia

“I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” by My Chemical Romance

“Stay” song by Thirty Seconds to Mars

“Counting Stars” by OneRepublic

“Sugar, We’re Going Down” by Fall Out Boy

“Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri

“Cello Sonata, L 135” by Debussy

 

We hope that you enjoyed this post. Now go feed your mind and read a book!

 

BookCover_Lost_in_Starlight

High school is tough. Romance with a sexy alien—even tougher.

Star reporter Sloane Masterson knows she has one helluva story when she witnesses hottie Hayden Lancaster bending forks with his mind.

Like any good journalist, Sloane sets out to uncover the truth, even if it includes a little stalking. When the superhuman feats start to pile up and the undeniable heat rises between them, Hayden has no choice but to reveal his secret: he’s an alien hybrid.

They’re as different as night and day—she’s a curvy, purple-haired, horror junkie and he’s a smoking hot, antisocial, brainiac—yet the intense fascination between them refuses to go away. Even at Hayden’s insistence that dating each other is “off limits” and dangerous, their fiery attraction threatens to go supernova.

Now Sloane’s dealing with creepy government agents, über snobby extraterrestrials, and a psycho alien ex-girlfriend out for revenge. After a crash course on the rules of interstellar dating, Sloane must decide if their star-crossed romance is worth risking her own life….

Buy LOST IN STARLIGHT (Volume 1)

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L89JAB2
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-Starlight-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B00L89JAB2
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1muANKA
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/lost-in-starlight
All Romance: http://bit.ly/1nBXloM

 

August 7th, 2014

Guest Post: Gae Polisner

The Summer of Letting Go
I always love being able to do author guest posts. Today is no exception! Gae Polisner the author of The Summer of Letting Go has been kind enough to do on for me on the topic of Characters Who Wear Their Flaws on their Sleeves… (Edit: I apologize greatly as this was supposed to post a couple months back and totally missed that it failed to do so.)

I love flawed characters, ones we love enough that we can forgive and/or root for, even when they make bad  (sometimes terrible) decisions.

To me, a purely good or purely bad character is an inauthentic character.  Nobody is all good, or all bad. Those people just don’t exist. And if they do, they are boring and unrelatable. Certainly, there is little to learn by watching them.

I mean, I think I’m a good person. At least I strive constantly to be a better person. Really. To be worthy of liking, or even better, to be worthy of being loved. But I have said mean things in my life, been inconsiderate, hurt people, and, yes, made stupid choices that others might judge to be objectively “bad.” What makes bad behavior unforgiveable? Does why we do something matter? Does the baggage we carry change the harshness of the lens through which we are judged?

In THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO, my main character, Francesca, has been through such tragedy in her life, having witnessed her baby brother drown when she was eleven.  Four years later, she still struggles to forgive herself and fears she is pretty much unworthy of being loved — especially by her own mother who she thinks doesn’t – and can’t – love her anymore.

Is Francesca even at fault? Should she be blamed? Does she have the right to forgive herself and hope others will forgive her too?  Is she actually worthy of being loved?

I love to talk to readers about whether their answers to those questions change – sometimes multiple times — as they watch Francesca muddle through the typical daily aspects of teenage life. For example, she loves her best friend, Lisette, with all her heart, and yet Lisette has so much and it all seemingly comes easy for her. So, when Francesca pines for Lisette’s boyfriend (and maybe her entire life…), do we, as readers, give her more room to be flawed because she’s suffered such hurt. Or, to the contrary, might some of us hold her to a higher standard because she’s already done something terribly wrong?

The Summer of Letting Go is chockfull of flawed characters. There is Frankie Sky’s mother, Brooke, who drinks and sleeps her responsibilities away, yet is the first one to reach out to Francesca with trust, to see her for how very worthy she is. There is Mrs. Merrill, wise and patient with Francesca when least expected, but perhaps hiding serious wrongdoings of her own. There is Peter Pintero, easy to view as a jerk, but when you get to know him better, do you like him at least just a little bit more? And of course, there are Francesca’s parents. Are they “good” parents or are they “bad?”

As a reader, I love to waffle on my feelings about characters. To feel one way at first, then suddenly find my opinion shifting as my understanding of the character comes into full view.

I know I’m not alone in my love of flawed characters, though I so often hear readers struggle with their ability to connect with or feel compassion for them.

What is it about flawed characters that draws us?  Perhaps Francesca puts it best when she muses:

It occurs to me that maybe I want it to be true. Maybe I want Dad to have done something terrible and wrong like that, because even if he did, I’d still love him and I’d still want him to be my father. Even if he screwed up, I’d still think he was a good person.

Maybe that’s what I’m secretly hoping for. Because if Dad could make such a huge, horrible mistake and still be a good person, then that would mean, technically, I could be, too.

Perhaps this what we love about flawed characters: that they allow us to be imperfect, and still believe that we are also, somehow, still worthy and good.

 

Thanks again, Gae! And everyone should check out The Summer of Letting Go. You can connect with Gae on Twitter or on her website.

June 26th, 2014

Cover Reveal: Love and Other Theories

I love participating in cover reveals when I can, especially when it’s a book that sounds interesting. Here’s jacket copy description:

 

If you want more, you have to give less.

That’s the secret to dating in high school. By giving as little as they expect to get in return, seventeen-year-old Aubrey Housing and her three best friends have made it to the second semester of their senior year heartbreak-free. And it’s all thanks to a few simple rules: don’t commit, don’t be needy, and don’t give away your heart.

So when smoking-hot Nathan Diggs transfers to Lincoln High, it shouldn’t be a big deal. At least that’s what Aubrey tells herself. But Nathan’s new-boy charm, his kindness, and his disarming honesty throw Aubrey off her game and put her in danger of breaking the most important rule of all: Don’t fall in love.

 

Okay, ready for the cover…..

 

 

 

 

wait for it……..

 

 

 

almost there….

 

 


LoveAndOtherTheories_jkt_des4.indd

 

 

LoveAndOtherTheories_jkt_des4.inddLove it! Simple yet eye catching. And I can’t wait to find out if all the safety pins hold a significance. I know this will be one I’ll have my fingers crossed for at ALA.

And as a bonus, here’s a quote from the book and a chance to win a $50 gift card to the bookstore of your choice! Winner will be chosen and revealed on Monday, June 30th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
    Author bio: Alexis Bass grew up in Washington, went to college in Arizona, and spent her early twenties in Seattle. She currently lives in Northern California with Dylan McKay, her gorgeous and rambunctious golden retriever. She loves good fashion and good TV as much as a good book, and is a huge advocate of the three C’s: coffee, chocolate, and cheese. LOVE AND OTHER THEORIES is her first novel. Visit her at www.alexisbassbooks.com or on Twitter: @alexisbasswrite Add on Goodreads LOVE AND OTHER THEORIES is available for pre-order: Amazon Barnes & Noble