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Top Ten Tuesday: February New Releases

Tomorrow is the first day of February!  As always, new months bring new books, which makes me very happy! Today’s top ten tuesday is spotlighting some of the new February releases in YA/MG fiction.  Obviously, this is only ten titles out of the many that will be published this month.  Enjoy!

The Girls of No Return by Erin SaldinThe Girls of No Return by Erin Saldin (Feb 1) YA

The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area stretches across two million acres in northern Idaho. In its heart sits the Alice Marshall School, where fifty teenage girls come to escape their histories and themselves.

Island of Shadows by Erin HunterIsland of Shadows (Seekers: Return to the Wild 1) by Erin Hunter (Feb 7) MG

Toklo, Kallik, and Lusa survived the perilous mission that brought them together, and now it’s time for them to find their way home. Kallik and Lusa are ready to be among their own kinds again, but Toklo, devastated by the loss of their companion Ujurak, feels hopeless and afraid of what’s to come.

Dead to You by Lisa McMannDead to You by Lisa McMann (Feb 7) YA

Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It’s a miracle… at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn’t going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he’d be able to put the pieces back together. But there’s something that’s keeping his memory blocked.

In Too Deep by Amanda GraceIn Too Deep by Amanda Grace (Feb 8) YA

I never meant for anyone to get hurt. All I wanted to do that night was make a play for Carter Davis. His heartless rejection was mortifying, but people got the wrong idea when they saw me leaving his bedroom, crying. That’s how rumors of rape started.  Now girls at school are pouring out their sympathy to me. Guys too. But not everyone’s on my side. The school has become a war zone and the threats are getting scary. What began as poetic justice has morphed into something bigger-forcing me to make a terrible choice.

Pure by Julianna BaggottPure by Julianna Baggott (Feb 8) YA

And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.

Quest for te Secret Keeper by Victoria LaurieQuest for the Secret Keeper (Oracles of Delphi Keep #3) by Victoria Laurie (Feb 14) MG

The Royal Navy has taken the keep to use as a hospital and the tunnels running under the keep and the castle are ideal to set up a central communications outpost for the approaching war. The earl is happy to help the effort, but now the keep is no longer safe for the orphans and they must be evacuated to his winter residence.
Ian, Theo, and Carl know that if they’re sent away, they’ll no longer be protected. But more important than their safety is deciphering the third prophecy. All clues point to a quest. The orphans don’t know where they must go, but they know they must rescue the Secret Keeper.

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCourThe Disenchantments by Nina LaCour (Feb 16) YA

Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev’s band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she’s abandoning their plans – and Colby – to start college in the fall.

But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie- Colby struggles to deal with Bev’s already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what’s next?

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa JensenThe Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen (Feb 16) YA

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that’s just fine by her. She’s got her friends – the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She’s got her art – and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it’s hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they’re dating?

Fever by Lauren DeStefanoFever (Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano  (Feb 21) YA

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago – surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.  The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous.

Pandemonium by Lauren OliverPandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver  (Feb 27) YA

I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, pushing aside thoughts of Alex, pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, push, push, push, like Raven taught me to do. The old life is dead. But the old Lena is dead too. I buried her. I left her beyond a fence, behind a wall of smoke and flame.

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Not My Cup of Tea: Halflings by Heather Burch

I read Halflings by Heather Burch as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge.

After being inexplicaHalflings by Heather Burchbly targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with.

A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

When it comes to supernatural fiction I’m finding that I’m more interested in angels instead of vampires. I have nothing against vampires or the vampire trend in YA fiction, but I just never got that excited about it (except for Vladimir Tod; he’s pretty cool!). I just think that angels are infinitely more intriguing. That being said, I think this book had a lot of potential.

Anyways, Halflings by Heather Burch is centered around three halfling angels and Nikki, the girl they’re sent to protect. Nikki is a confusing character, sometimes she’s incredibly vulnerable and embracing the whole damsel-in-distress persona and the next minute she’s a stubborn, prideful girl who just can’t let herself be seen as weak. I didn’t dislike Nikki, I just didn’t get a good grasp on who she was as a character. She does however have her own interests (i.e. painting, karate, motorcycles) which is so refreshing to see, even if we only catch glimpses of these other sides to Nikki.

So, there is a love triangle and its very simplified. One boy is the good angel on Nikki’s shoulder and the other is the devil on her other shoulder; one halfling is moral, the other is edgier. Mace and Raven are much too stereotyped to be interesting, although I wanted to be as mystified by them as Nikki was.

The only two characters who I was actually interested in were Vine, the third halfling, and Vessler the sketchy friend of Nikki’s parents. Vine seems like a side character who would actually make a more interesting main character. I was disappointed when he wasn’t in a scene; he was the only one of the halflings who had any real life to him. Also, Vessler. Who is he? What is his story and is he good or bad; you’re still not too sure even at the end of Halflings.

I really wanted to like Halflings but I didn’t. I just wasn’t impressed. But if you’ve been wanting to read this one you should give it a try, just because I’m not a fan of a particular book, doesn’t mean everyone will feel the same way. I just felt like The conversation was a little clichéd and the story ends pretty anticlimactically. However, I do think some of my students would enjoy this book, as they love supernatural fiction. So, all in all I think middle school aged readers would enjoy Halflings, even though it wasn’t my cup of tea.

Author: Heather Burch

Publisher: Zonderkids (January 17, 2012)

Format: E-book (ARC from NetGalley)

Length: 288 pages

Series: First in a series

YA/MG: Middle Grades

Buy the Book: Halflings (A Halflings Novel)

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Book Trailer of the Week: Paranormalcy

Paranormalcy by Kiersten WhiteI can’t forgive myself.

I’ve met Kiersten White.  Totally chatted with her at a conference this past fall.

Still haven’t read her books.

I must make time for this series because my students seems to really like them and I keep hearing awesome stuff about them.  The more and more I hear about White’s books, I ask myself, “why haven’t you read these yet?!”.  So, Paranormalcy is a priority for me! (It rhymes!)

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Winner Announcement: The Boy Project ARC Giveaway

Yeaaa!

It’s time to announce the winner of The Boy Project ARC and prize pack giveaway!  So again, lets review the prizes!

Ohhhh! Ahhhh!

So, let me just say that my free wordpress.com account does not allow cool giveaway widgets like rafflecopter, so being the librarian that I am, I ran this giveaway the old fashion way.

I wrote the names of everyone who commented on the giveaway post on little pieces of paper and placed those slips into a bowl (a pretty Fiesta Ware bowl mind you!).

Then, in keeping with my technological ways, I asked my husband to choose a name out of the bowl.  (He insisted the plastic cheetah must be a part of the event).

And the name he chose from the pretty FiestaWare raffle bowl was……..

Congratulations Tris Dale!  You have just won yourself an ARC of The Boy Project by Kami Kinard and a fun prize pack of bookmarks, bracelets and tattoos!  All I need from you is to email me  your mailing address at  tinalina(at)gmail(dot)com within the next 48 hours and I will ship your winnings to you right away!

Thanks to everyone who entered!  My first giveaway was fun and I will definitely be hosting another one in the near future!

Also, lets give a huge thank you to author Kami Kinard for writing such a fun book and for donating all the prize pack paraphernalia!  Don’t forget to check out her website for more information on new debut novel, The Boy Project!

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All Rolled Into One: Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

Finn has escaped from the terrible living Prison of Incarceron, but its memory torments him, because his brother Keiro is still inside. Outside, Claudia insists he must be king, but Finn doubts even his own identity. Is he the lost prince Giles? Or are his memories no more than another construct of his imprisonment? And can you be free if your friends are still captive? Can you be free if your world is frozen in time? Can you be free if you don’t even know who you are? Inside Incarceron, has the crazy sorcerer Rix really found the Glove of Sapphique, the only man the Prison ever loved. Sapphique, whose image fires Incarceron with the desire to escape its own nature. If Keiro steals the glove, will he bring destruction to the world? Inside. Outside. All seeking freedom. Like Sapphique.

Sapphique by Catherine FisherThis sequel picks up right where the first book, Incarceron, left off.  Catherine Fisher has created such a unique and imaginative world within this series, it’s an awesome mix of dystopia, science fiction, steampunk and fantasy.  I love that I can’t categorize this series into one nicely wrapped genre.  It’s a mix of awesomeness all rolled into one.

As in Incarceron, Sapphique is a story told from inside the prison and outside the prison. I loved seeing things from Attia’s eyes because you don’t really get to know her too much in the first story. In Sapphique there is more character development, for example the readers gets to discover that Attia is a strong and smart character who can hold her own when she needs to.  Also, Sapphique shows us hints of Keiro’s kinder and more vulnerable side, which was definitely surprising and nice to see.

This one has a bit  more adventure and intrigue than its predecessor, which I really like.  Claudia is still my favorite character as she is constantly plotting and scheming and playing the game like she knows she must.  My only complaint about Sapphique is that it didn’t seem to answer all of my questions.  It did answer some, but I feel like I was left with more than when I started.  Also, I feel like the ending (no spoilers!) was kind of thrown together and not completely explained.  I actually had to skip back in my audiobook because I thought, “What just happened?”  I really wish there would be a third book, because I feel like I need more closure with the characters, but alas Fisher claims that there will be only the two.  Apparently, Taylor Lautner has been cast in the role of Finn in the upcoming movie adaptation, so if I can’t have a third book at least I can have a movie.

The narrator, Kim Mai Guest, does an excellent job.  I’m familiar with some of her other work as she narrated the audio version of Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.  She is really good at making each voice sound unique so you’re not confused and trying to figure out who is speaking (unfortunately I’ve experienced that before), which is what a good narrator should be capable of.

If you read Incarceron and wanted more, then you should read Sapphique.  I’d say that middle grade readers and up, who are searching for a intriguing fantasy/steampunk/scifi/dystopian novel, will enjoy this series!

Author: Catherine Fisher

Publisher: Listening Library; Unabridged edition (December 28, 2010)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 11 hrs, 57 mins

Narrator(s): Kim Mai Guest

Series: Second in a series

YA/MG: Middle Grades and Young Adult

Buy the Book:  Sapphique (Incarceron)

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved But Never Wrote A Review For

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I’ve often wondered if other book bloggers review everything they read.  For the most part I currently review everything I read.  This could change as life changes (gets busier etc…) but for now I have the freedom and time to do that.  However, there were tons of Young Adult and Middle Grades books I read before I started BookTasty and before I started writing reviews.  So today’s Top Ten list is focused on the poor, neglected titles that I absolutely loved, but never wrote a review for.  I can vouch for all of them as awesome reads and they deserve some love too!  Here they are:

The GooseGirl by Shannon HaleThe Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (ANYTHING by Shannon Hale)

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba BrayA Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle series) by Libba Bray

The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Gregor The Overlander by Suzanne CollinsGregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

Sorcery and Cecilia by Patricia C. WredeSorcery and Cecilia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede

A Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C BunceA Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

The Sacrafice by Kathleen Benner DubleThe Sacrifice by Kathleen Benner Duble

The Princess Diaries by Meg CabotThe Princess Diaries (series) by Meg Cabot

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian SelznerThe Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brin Selznick

Fairest by Gail Carson LevineFairest by Gail Carson Levine

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann BrasharesThe Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants  (series) by Ann Brashares

So, like I said before these books were all great and deserved some attention!  Check them out!

Thanks to The Broke and Bookish for hosting Top Ten Tuesday every week!

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In My Mailbox (3)

Okay, so I didn’t actually get any of these in my actual mailbox this week.

But whatever.

I either a) bought them for my school’s Media Center (why we didn’t already have some of these I don’t know), or b) got them as e-books from NetGalley.

So, now that it’s all been cleared  up, let’s go ahead and see what tasty treats I got!

Books I bought:

books1The Son of Neptune and The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Kingdom Keepers III and Kingdom Keepers IV by Ridley Pearson

books2Storm Runners by Roland Smith

Showoff and The 6th Grade Nickname Game by Gordon Korman

books 3The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Boy Project by Kami Kinard (you can win an ARC copy here!)

Vanishing Acts by Phillip Margolin and Ami Margolin Rome

books 4The Adventures of TinTin by Alex Irvine

The Underdogs by Mike Lupica

A King’s Ransom by Jude Watson

E-books from NetGalley:

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen (ARC)

May B. A Novel by Caroline Starr Rose (ARC)

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (ARC)

Aboveworld by Jenn Reese (ARC)

I absolutely love getting new books to read and share with my students!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

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Just Finished: Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher It’s funny how you can start some books and they completely take over your time.  They manage to push everything else you’re reading (because I’m usually reading two or three books at a time) to the side and take top priority.  Well, I just finished Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and that’s what it did.  It made itself known; it climbed its way to the top of my currently reading pile and made me read it in a matter of a weekend.  Seriously, it was that good (if not equally intense).  I’ll review it really soon!