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Top Ten Tuesday: August New Releases

Top Ten TuesdayWell hello and Happy Tuesday!

Every Tuesday the lovely people over at The Broke and Bookish host Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly event to celebrate bookish lists!

Now, officially the theme for the week is Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With For 24 Hours, but I usually skip one of their themes to do a New Releases Top Ten because I like to highlight some of the upcoming month’s new titles.  So although I like the official theme, I’ll save it for later, and this week my list is Top Ten August New Releases.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J MaasThroneof Glass by Sarah J. Mass (August 7)

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined

The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee by Tom AnglebergerThe Secret of the Fortune Wookiee by Tom Angleberger (August 7)

With Dwight attending Tippett Academy this semester, the kids of McQuarrie Middle School are on their own–no Origami Yoda to give advice and help them navigate the treacherous waters of middle school. Then Sara gets a gift she says is from Dwight–a paper fortune-teller in the form of Chewbacca. It’s a Fortune Wookiee, and it seems to give advice that’s just as good as Yoda’s–even if, in the hands of the girls, it seems too preoccupied with romance. In the meantime, Dwight is fitting in a little too well at Tippett. Has the unimaginable happened? Has Dwight become normal? It’s up to his old friends at McQuarrie to remind their kooky friend that it’s in his weirdness that his greatness lies.

Liar and Spy by Rebecca SteadLiar and Spy by Rebecca Stead (August 7)

When seventh grader Georges (the S is silent) moves into a Brooklyn apartment building, he meets Safer, a twelve-year-old coffee-drinking loner and self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer’s first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: how far is too far to go for your only friend?

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Extra Credit by Tommy GreenwaldCharlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Extra Credit by Tommy Greenwald (August 7)

Charlie Joe Jackson, the most reluctant reader ever born, made it his mission in the first book to get through middle school without reading a single book from cover to cover. Now he’s back, and trying desperately to get straight A’s in order to avoid going to academic camp for the summer. In order to do this, he will have to betray his friend, lose the girl of his dreams, and end up acting in a school play about the inventor of paper towels. Charlie Joe’s not exactly the “school play kind of guy”, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

The Kill Order by James DashnerThe Kill Order by James Dashner (August 14)

Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth and mankind fell to disease.
Mark and Trina were there when it happened, and they survived. But surviving the sun flares was easy compared to what came next. Now a disease of rage and lunacy races across the eastern United States, and there’s something suspicious about its origin. Worse yet, it’s mutating, and all evidence suggests that it will bring humanity to its knees. Mark and Trina are convinced there’s a way to save those left living from descending into madness. And they’re determined to find it—if they can stay alive. Because in this new, devastated world, every life has a price. And to some, you’re worth more dead than alive.

Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela MingleKissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle (August 14)

Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school’s staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide.  Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she’d like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he’s a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England—the world Stephen’s really from. He wants Miranda to use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lose its greatest playwright.  Miranda isn’t convinced she’s the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it’s her only chance of getting back to the present and her “real” life. What Miranda doesn’t bargain for is finding true love . . . with no acting required.

The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances LongThe Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Long (August 16)

The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she’s lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack’s help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she’s faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice–and not just her own.

Palace of Stone by Shannon HalePrincess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale (August 21)

Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city seems a thrill beyond imagining. When Miri and her friends from Mount Eskel set off to help the future princess Britta prepare for her royal wedding, she is happy about her chance to attend school in the capital city. There, Miri befriends students who seem so sophisticated and exciting . . . until she learns that they have some frightening plans. They think that Miri will help them, that she “should “help them. Soon Miri finds herself torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends’ ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city. Picking up where “Princess Academy “left off, this incredible stand-alone story celebrates the joys of friendship, the delight of romance, and the fate of a beloved fairy tale kingdom.

City of Swords by Mary HoffmanCity of Swords (Starvaganza#6) by Mary Hoffman (August 21)

Haven’t read any in this series but REALLY REALLY want to!

Desperately unhappy, Laura has resorted to secretly self-harming. But Laura is a Stravagante, somebody who can travel in time and space. When she finds her talisman, a small silver dagger, she stravagates with it to sixteenth-century Fortezza, a town similar to Lucca in Italy, where she meets her Stravagante, who is a swordsmith. But Laura also meets the charming and attractive Ludo, and falls for him. Their love for each other is tested when Ludo lays claim to the crown of Fortezza, and Laura finds herself fighting on the side of the Stravaganti opposing him.

Dangerous Boy by Mandy HubbardDangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard (August 30)

Harper has never been worried about falling in love, something she is skeptical even exists. But everything changes when Logan moves to town, and to Harper’s shock, the two tumble into an intense romance. It’s everything she never thought she wanted. Then she meets Logan’s twin brother, Daemon, who was expelled from his last school. True, he’s a bad boy, but Harper can’t shake the feeling that there’s something deeply sinister about him–something dangerous. When Logan starts pulling away, Harper is convinced that Daemon’s shadowy past is the wedge being driven between them. But by the time she uncovers the truth, it may be too late.

Yay! So many awesome sounding books coming out! I must figure out a way to convince my husband we don’t need to eat for the month, but that we need all of these instead.  Eating is overrated!! :)

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Cringe-Worthy Decisions: How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy by Crystal Allen

Well hello there!

As you may already know, every summer I read all fifteen of the Florida Sunshine State books so I can better promote them to students at school and because I love middle grades fiction. Well,  How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy by Crystal Allen is the sixth How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy by Crystal AllenSunshine State book I’ve finished this summer.

Thirteen-year-old Lamar Washington is the maddest, baddest, most spectacular bowler at Striker’s Bowling Paradise. But while Lamar’s a whiz at rolling strikes, he always strikes out with girls. And his brother, Xavier the Basketball Savior, is no help. Xavier earns trophy after trophy on the basketball court and soaks up Dad’s attention, leaving no room for Lamar’s problems.

Until bad boy Billy Jenks convinces Lamar that hustling at the alley will help him win his dream girl, plus earn him enough money to buy an expensive pro ball and impress celebrity bowler Bubba Sanders. But when Billy’s scheme goes awry, Lamar ends up ruining his brother’s shot at college and every relationship in his life. Can Lamar figure out how to mend his broken ties, no matter what the cost?

How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy has this rhythm to it that is just awesome.  Seriously, just read this first paragraph:

“Since Saturday, I’ve fried Sergio like catfish, mashed him like potatoes, and creamed his corn in ten straight games of bowling. And it’s just the middle of the week. People call Wednesday “hump day,” but for Sergio it’s “kicked-in-the-rump day.” I’m his daddy now, the maddest, baddest, most spectacular bowler ever.”

I literally re-read that over and over again because I just love the way it rolls off the tongue!  Allen writes this way throughout the whole book.  There are so many sentences and paragraphs that you can’t help but re-read out loud because they just sound so good!

Lamar is an incredibly likable character.  He’s your average kid struggling to get out from under his brother’s shadow and deal with life after his mother died. He’s awesome at bowling, but bowling isn’t basketball and in his town, basketball is king. Lamar is hilarious and the dialog between him and his best friend Sergio is laugh out loud funny! I don’t know if my students will get Lamar’s love for bowling, but Lamar is so personable they will definitely like him. You just can’t help but like him.

So, as the title suggests, Lamar makes some really bad choices and one awful one that affect everyone he knows.  Lamar is like any kid (myself at that age included) where life is all about what you feel at the moment. Sometimes this running off emotion thing leads to horrible decisions with major consequences, which Allen portrays well in this book.  Lamar knows it was wrong the second he follows through with his choice and is forced to deal with what happens after.  Some things get wrapped up nicely, and some don’t, but Lamar knows himself better because of his mistakes.

How Lamar’s Band Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy will resonate with anyone who has ever been an emotionally driven teenager (ummm everyone at some point!) who has made some cringe-worthy decisions and had to deal with the aftermath. Middle grade readers and up will enjoy this book about “the maddest, baddest, most spectacular bowler ever”!

Author: Crystal Allen

Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harper Teen (February 22, 2011)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 288 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book: How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy

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Tangible Hope: The Juvie Three by Gordon Korman

Hola!

The Juvie Three by Gordon Korman was the fifth Florida Sunshine book I’ve read this summer, which means that I still have ten more to go before I’ve read all fifteen!

The Juvie Three by Gordon KormanGecko Fosse drove the getaway car. Terence Florian ran with the worst gang in Chicago. Arjay Moran killed someone.

All three boys are serving time in juvenile detention centers until they get a second chance at life in the form of Douglas Healy.  A former juvenile delinquent himself, Healy is running an experimental halfway house in New York City where he wants to make a difference in the lives of kids like Gecko, Terence, and Arjay.

Things are going well, until one night Healy is accidentally knocked unconscious while trying to break up a scuffle among the boys.  Terrified of the consequences, they drop him off at a hospital and run away.  But when Healy awakes, he has no memory of them or the halfway house.  Afraid of being sent back to Juvie, the guys hatch a crazy scheme to continue on as if the group leader never left.  They will go to school, do their community service, attend therapy, and act like model citizens until Healy’s memory returns and he can resume his place with them. But life keeps getting in the way…like when Gecko finds romance.  Or Arjay gets famous. Or Terence starts reverting to his old ways.  If the boys are discovered, their second chance will be their last.

I need to start this by saying that I love Gordon Korman.  I’ve read some of his other books and got to meet him at the FAME Conference this past November.  It was there that I realized I have a pretty decent sized crush on him! Le sigh…

Anyway before I delve deeper into that lets focus back on The Juvie Three.  I didn’t get into this book right away.  It was almost three-fourths of the way through the book that I was finally excited to figure out what happened next.  It wasn’t that I didn’t like the story, but I just kept getting distracted by other books because this one isn’t as glamorous as some of the Young Adult titles out there and it’s difficult for me to read about teens with troubled pasts. However, now that I’ve read it I’m really glad I did.

It isn’t Korman’s usual humorous novel, but although The Juvie Three deals with a more serious subject than his other books he still manages to slide some humor in there as well. Even after all the baggage and trouble these boys have gone through they’re still just kids who enjoy having fun despite not being used to it at all. The boys, are all pretty realistic and easily relateable and I really think my students will feel a connection between these regular teenage guys.

Although some of the plot is a little improbable at times, the book left me with an overall feeling of hope.  The boys still have a long road ahead and unfortunately will have to deal with their pasts for many years to come, but hope is there. It is tangible.  As an educator this story is one that reminded me why I do what I do.  It’s so that I can help my students see just how tangible that hope is in their lives and futures.

All in all I think my students, especially my boys, will enjoy reading about Gecko, Arjay and Terence and their adventures (I guess that’s what you call it!) with Doug Healy.  I recommend The Juvie Three, and pretty much anything else by Gordon Korman, to middle school readers (especially guys) and up!

Author: Gordon Korman

Publisher: Hyperion Books (September 2, 2008)

Format: Hardcover, library bound

Length: 256 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book: The Juvie Three

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Waiting on Wednesday: Perfect Scoundrels

Well hello there!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine with the goal of featuring the books we’re eagerly anticipating.

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally CarterIf you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time you probably know I’m kind of obsessed with Ally Carter’s Gallagher books! So I was so glad I finally made time to read the first book in her other series, Heist Society. Well, now that I’ve read the first book in that series I am very excited for the third book, Perfect Scoundrels. And look at that cover! Carter’s covers are always so fabulous!

Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it’s that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting—or stealing—whatever they want.

No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale’s family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there’s no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won’t let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother’s will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune. So instead of being the heir—this time, Hale might be the mark.

Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she’s willing to save her boyfriend’s company if it means losing the boy.

So, I literally just finished Heist Society and haven’t had the chance to pick up book two, Uncommon Criminals yet. But I’m not worried I still have until February 5, 2013 until Perfect Scoundrels is released, so that gives me tons of time to get my hands on book two before this awesome sounding book three comes out!

What books are you waiting for this week?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Fictional Settings or Worlds

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovelies over at The Broke and Bookish.  Each week the post a topic and everyone creates their own top list based on that specific topic.

This week’s topic is officially titled “Most Vivid Words/Settings” but I’m just making it my favorite fictional worlds or settings.  There are so many awesome book settings out there, but obviously there are some I love more than others.  Today we’ll be taking a look at some of my favorite settings although there are so many others I love out there. Here we go!

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen1. Bath circa Regency England (1812-1820ish) 

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

So I’m already starting my list of favorite fictional settings off with a setting that is NOT fictional.  Yes, I  am aware that Bath is a real place.  But I was not lucky enough to have experienced Bath during its Regency hay-day so it’s pretty much fictional to me. I know Austen wasn’t a fan of Bath, but I love seeing it through Catherine Morland’s eyes in Northanger Abbey.  So much bustle, glamor, fun, and excitement!  I would have loved to have been there with Catherine so I could experience the Pump Room, and all dance in the assembly rooms.  Le sigh…

Austenland by Shannon Hale2. Austenland  

Austenland and Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Strange how numbers 1 and 2 are connected….No not strange at all! I love Jane Austen.  I love her novels (even the uncompleted Sandition), her heroines, her heros (hubba hubba) and yes even her “villains” and rakes!  So when I read Shannon Hale’s Austenland in which she created a story set in a Jane Austen resort (where its Regency England all day, every day!) of course I automatically fell in love.  Wealthy resort creators, PLEASE PLEASE create a real live Austenland for me?! And please make it affordable for someone on a teacher’s salary.  Thank you.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen3. Colby

Sarah Dessen’s Along for the Ride

I just love the idea of Colby.  Colby is this cute little fictional beach town in Along for the Ride.  It has a boardwalk with fun boutiques and it seems like everyone knows each other.  If Colby (not a place like Colby but actually Colby as described in the book) were real, I’d visit every summer.  We’d rent a house on the beach and stay for, like, the entire month of July.  Yes. I like Colby.

The Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling4. Hogwarts

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

Do I really even have to say explain why I like Hogwarts?  It’s Hogwarts! Moving staircases, sorting hats, paintings that talk and hidden passageways. Oh and magic.  Yes! I have always been intrigued by the idea of boarding schools, and Hogwarts has that coolness factor plus magic! How cool can you get? Rowling’s attention to detail when creating Hogwarts (and the other places in her books) is just out of control amazing.  I want to get sorted and actually take up residence in one of the houses. Oh and take classes with Hermione.

I'd Tell You I Love You but then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter5. The Gallagher Girl Academy

The Gallagher Girls series Ally Carter

The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a boarding school…FOR SPIES! I know I’ve said it on this blog before but I wish The Gallagher Academy was real and it would accept 29-year-old students. The mansion has all these hidden sublevels underneath it and even has a secret entrance through a lake.  Yea.  A lake. It even has security measures that turn it from a spy school into a regular girls boarding school.  It’s pretty awesome.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale6. Bayern

The Books of Bayern series by Shannon Hale

Bayern is like magical fairy tale land.  Girls have special powers that let them talk to animals and control the wind, while others control fire.  You know, just your average day in Bayern.  No biggie.  There are castles, princes, wars and magic.  I love fairy tales and would love to live in one.

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher7. Incarceron 

Incarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron is a prison.  It’s also alive.  It’s also in a different plane of space and time…kind of…  Incarceron actually scares the living you-know-what out of me.  It is ruthless and dirty and just plain creepy.  But Fisher was so creative in imagining it that there is no other setting like it.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to go to Incarceron. I’m just find with reading about it.  It’s cool, but horribly scary too.

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos8. Norvelt 

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

Norvelt is a small mid-western town and it’s pretty much full of crazies! Seriously, the main character, Jack, is surrounded by kooky seniors, a dad who mows down his wife’s corn field and a weird guy who rides a tricycle.  Norvelt is just so fun in its quirkiness.

The Parting by Beverly Lewis9. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Every book by Beverly Lewis 

Confession time. I really love Christian Amish Fiction.  I KNOW! I KNOW!  But I love it so much! I’m so intrigued by the Amish and their way of life.  I’d love to go see Amish country, and hope to one day.  It seems so idyllic with the rolling hills, creeks, and farms.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray10. The Spence Academy

The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray

Another boarding school!  This one is set in Victorian England and has some strange supernatural connections. I’ve always been interested in Victorian England, and I would have loved to be a student at Spence.  Although I could have done without the creepy happenings!

A Rather Lovely Inheritance by CA Belmond11. Europe

The Rather series by C.A. Belmond

In these books you get to see Europe and the Mediterranean from snazzy sports cars and yachts,  experience the lovely perfume fields of France, and lounge in the glamorous Monte Carlo. Ohh to be an heiress with a cute English love interest!

So, those are my ten favorite fictional settings.  What are some of yours?

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Excitement and Shininess: Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Ciao!

I recently read Anna Godbersen’s Bright Young Things, the first book in the Bright Young Things series.

The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersenthe anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York’s glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star. . . .

Cordelia is searching for the father she’s never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It’s a life anyone would kill for . . . and someone will.

The only person Cordelia can trust is ­Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia’s brother, Charlie. But Astrid’s perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.

Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the ­illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls’ fortunes will rise and fall—together and apart.

I adored the first two books in Godbersen’s Luxe series and  after reading a lot of middle grades fiction, I realized I was in need of a light summer read. Something full of gossip and drama and romance. Bright Young Things has all of these things!

So, I didn’t like it as much as I enjoyed the Luxe books but Bright Young Things was still really entertaining and I enjoyed it. I wasn’t as connected to the characters in this book as her others. But I did enjoy reading their stories and watching them fall in and out of love and good fortune.

The setting? I loved the setting! Who couldn’t love the excitement and shininess of New York City 1929?! I’ve always been interested in the Roaring Twenties. I’ve always loved the ideas of secret speakeasys, dangerous mobsters and Charleston dancing flappers, and the fashion. It’s all just so fun (I’m sure it wasn’t as glamorous as a romanticized view of history makes it out to be)!

This is purely a Young Adult fiction book, so I’d say high schoolers and up would enjoy it. So, if you’re in the mood for a fun read full of twenties glamor and scandal then Bright Young Things is the read for you!

Author: Anna Godbersen

Publisher: Harper Collins (August 2, 2011)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 416 pages

Series: First in the Bright Young Things series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Bright Young Things

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Book Trailer of the Week: Fever Crumb

Book Trailer of the Week

Hi there!

On Friday’s I like to give some love to book trailers.  During the school year I use book trailers in my Media Center and on the morning announcements as much as possible because they’re a great tool for promoting books!  Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve

This week’s featured book trailer is for Fever Crumb by Phillip Reeve.  I haven’t read this book yet, but the trailer really makes me want to!

Fever Crumb is a girl who has been adopted and raised by Dr. Crumb, a member of the order of Engineers, where she serves as apprentice. In a time and place where women are not seen as reasonable creatures, Fever is an anomaly, the only female to serve in the order.

Soon though, she must say goodbye to Dr. Crumb – nearly the only person she’s ever known – to assist archeologist Kit Solent on a top-secret project. As her work begins, Fever is plagued by memories that are not her own and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are. Fever has also been singled out by city-dwellers who declare her part Scriven. The Scriveners, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people. If there are any remaining Scriven, they are to be eliminated.

All Fever knows is what she’s been told: that she is an orphan. Is Fever a Scriven? Whose memories does she hold? Is the mystery of Fever, adopted daughter of Dr. Crumb, the key to the secret that lies at the heart of London?

Sounds great?! Well, check out the book trailer – it’s pretty enticing!

Have you read Fever Crumb yet?  It’s on my To Read List and I hope to get to it soon!

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I Only Had Eyes For Nancy Drew: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Hi!

So, somewhere in elementary school I missed Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.  I know why.  I was engrossed in my Nancy Drew mysteries.  Seriously.  I read them all (and there are about 150 originals).  So, if it wasn’t a Nancy Drew book, I ignored it.  This is why I never read Hatchet by Gary PaulsenHatchet, until now.

Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered windbreker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present — and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart since his parent’s divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self-pity, or despair — it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.

Of course Hatchet was awesome. It is a twentieth century classic. It’s a Newberry Award book! I finished it thinking, “Well that was just a darn good book”.

From the fist few sentences I was hooked.  Paulsen’s style of writing is so clean. By clean I mean uncluttered.  Paulsen only writes what is important and the reader doesn’t get bogged down with other information, because he only describes the important things. The whole time the reader is experiencing every thing right alongside Brian. From the pilot’s heart attack, to the plane crash, to the moose attack (Yes. That’s right.) I was right there beside him wondering, like Brian, if he’s going to survive on his own in the wilderness.  I was so involved in Brian’s story that I found myself feeling excited and joyous whenever he made a small victory, or holding my breath when he made a mistake. Talk about engrossing!

Another aspect about Hatchet that I liked was Brian’s memories and dreams. Throughout the story Brian is alone. All by himself. No one for miles. He is forced to deal with his thoughts and memories, especially those relating to the secret about his mother. Brian isn’t only trying to survive physically, but he is also trying to survive his parents’ divorce emotionally.  Both survival attempts mirror each other as the story unfolds.  Brian learns that self-pity doesn’t work.  In order to move beyond things, in a healthy way, is to face them head on – a lesson I can always use a reminder in!

Would I have enjoyed Hatchet as much if I’d read it when my classmates were reading it?  Probably not. (Nancy Drew I only had eyes for you!)  But I am so glad I finally took the time to read this modern-day classic.  Middle grade readers and older  who enjoy survival stories will probably love this book and anyone who hasn’t read Hatchet yet really should add it to their To Read List.  I highly recommend the audiobook because the narrator, Peter Coyote, did a wonderful job (plus it’s a super fast listen).

Author: Gary Paulsen

Publisher: Listening Library (April 27, 2004)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 3 hrs, 37 mins

Narrator(s): Peter Coyote

Series: First in the Brian’s Saga series.

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book:  Hatchet By Gary Paulsen

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Waiting on Wednesday: Scarlet

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. This week the book I’m trying to wait patiently for is Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, the second book in her Lunar Chronicles series.

Scarlet by Marissa MeyerCinder is trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Cinder snuck up on me. When I started listening to the audiobook, I didn’t expect to enjoy the story and characters as much as I did. I really, really loved that book and I still think about it because I loved it that much! You can read my full review of Cinder here. So, as you can see I enjoyed the first book so much so I’m extra excited for Scarlet to continue the story!

So I have until February 5, 2013 to wait to find out what happens to Cinder and Prince Kai!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Read Alikes

Top Ten TuesdayWelcome back!

Every Tuesday I participate in the Top Ten Tuesday Meme which is hosted by the wonderful people over at The Broke and Bookish.  Every week they post a theme for others to create lists so that us book bloggers can get to know each other better and talk about what we love… books!

This week’s list is Books for People Who Like X book…in other words its read alike week! Today I’ll be giving read alike suggestions for some popular Middle Grades and Young Adult fictions titles. Hopefully this list will be helpful to you in figuring out what to read next!

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day GeorgeIf you like Princess Academy by Shannon Hale… try Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Both Hale and George are the queens of middle grades fairy tales retold! And they’re friends in real life.  They’re perfect read alikes.

The Loser List by HN KowittIf you like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney… try The Loser List by H.N. Kowitt

Both books are about boys who are struggling to make it through their teenage year and are told in words and doodles.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny HanIf you like  Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen… try The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

These two rock the summery contemporary YA world!

The Maze Runner by James DashnerIf you like the The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins… try The Maze Runner series by James Dashner

Both dystopian novels feature strong characters fighting against corrupt governments.  Both are pretty intense reads!

Death Cloud by Andrew LaneIf you like the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz… try Death Cloud by Andrew Lane

Alex Rider is the modern-day version of Sherlock Holmes.  Both are British teen spies/detectives attempting to save the world. Fun stuff!

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny RorbyIf you like Hatchet by Gary Paulsen… try Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Both tell the stories of teens attempting to survive in the wilderness.  One in the Canadian mountains and another in the Florida Everglades.

Eighth Grade Bites by Heather BrewerIf you like the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan… try the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer

Although one is about Greek gods and the other focuses on vampires, both stories are about boys who uncover their true identities.

Football Hero by Tim GreenIf you like The Underdogs by Mike Lupica… try Football Hero by Tim Green

Both authors write books about regular kids and sports. Both are really fun middle grade reads!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret StohlIf you like The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray… try Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Both are paranormal young adult novels with a dollop of romance thrown in!

Paranormalcy by Kiersten WhiteIf you liked The Mortal Instruments series or The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare… try the Paranormalcy series by Kiersten White

Both series center on a teen girl who thinks her life is pretty normal until she realizes her connection to the supernatural world.

Do you recommend any other read alikes for the books I’ve mentioned above?