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Major Headway: The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart

Hello!

Don’t you just love when you find a series that you absolutely love? Well, I feel this way about the Ruby Oliver books by E. Lockhart, so I knew I needed to finish it as soon as possible. The Treasure Map of Boys is the third book in the series and I had to wait for it for months because my students were constantly checking it out! So, I finally grabbed it over our ThanksgivingThe Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart vacation to Europe.

Ruby is back at Tate Prep, and it’s her thirty-seventh week in the state of Noboyfriend. Her panic attacks are bad, her love life is even worse, and what’s more: Noel is writing her notes, Jackson is giving her frogs, Gideon is helping her cook, and Finn is making her brownies. Rumors are flying, and Ruby’s already-sucky reputation is heading downhill. Not only that, she’s also: running a bake sale, learning the secrets of heavymetal therapy, encountering some seriously smelly feet, defending the rights of pygmy goats, and bodyguarding Noel from unwanted advances.

Ruby Oliver is one of my favorite characters in teen lit ever. She is all things annoying, hilarious, neurotic and just plain lovable. In this third book Ruby is working hard to be a good friend but also learning to be good to herself. She is learning that repressing her thoughts, and feels is not healthy in any way. I loved this fabulous scene where Ruby stands up to someone who thinks she is weak and wants to keep her that way. She totally lets him have it… Which was long overdue!!

Although we do see Ruby making major headway in her relationships we also see her make a ton of massive mistakes, which of course make Ruby…Ruby!

If you’re already a fan of Ruby Oliver, The Treasure Map of Boys doesn’t disappoint! Plus it’s such a quick read I read on the plane back from Paris!

Author: E. Lockhart

Publisher: Delacourte Books for Young Readers (July 27, 2010)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 244 pages

Series: Third book in the Ruby Oliver series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon–and Me, Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver Quartet)

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Charming With A Twist: Welcome Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell

Welcome back to BookTasty!

I loved participating in the 2012 Debut Author Challenge.  It introduced me to new authors like Shelley Coriell and their debut books, like Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe.

Welcome Caller This Is Chloe by Shelley CoriellBig-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home.

This debut novel was charming, just like Chloe herself.  It was a fun story about pushing through hard times and about being there for those you care about. The book starts out lighthearted and fun but takes a twist for the more serious.

Chloe, although charming is also blind to the reality of life around her. She doesn’t realize that some people really do have real struggles that you can’t completely wipe away with a game or laughter. Seeing Chloe like this at the start of the novel you can understand why Chloe’s friends ditched her the way they did (although in my opinion that’s not the way to deal with your friendships so I’m not excusing them). I completely connected to Chloe with the whole friendship and relationship struggles as I dealt with situations that are almost exactly like Chloe’s in middle and high school. I know exactly what it feels like to not be allowed at the usual lunch table or to have rude (and blatantly untrue) things written about you in the bathroom.  High school girls are mean.

Despite all this social junk (and family junk because Chloe is dealing with that, too) Chloe matures a lot throughout the story. She not only learns how to be on her own and experience solitude, and she also learns how to just be okay in the sadness and confusion that life sometimes brings. But Chloe also learns what it means to be there for others in those difficult times.  Like the book, Chloe’s story starts out fun and lighthearted but takes a turn for the more serious.  She is a better balance of these two sides in the end.

I don’t know if Welcome Caller, This is Chloe is standalone or not, but I would love to read more about Chloe, Duncan and the staff at 88.8. This book was a really good read and recommend it to middle grades and high school readers as well as those who are older (like me!).

Author: Shelley Coriell

Publisher: Amulet Books (May 1, 2012)

Format: e-book

Length: 299 pages

Series: standalone

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book:  Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe

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Waiting on Wednesday: Mind Games

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that allows us book bloggers to showcase upcoming releases that we’re particularly looking forward to.  This week I am waiting on Mind Games by Kiersten White.Mind Games by Kiersten White

 Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future. Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

A slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

I think I’ve been in the mood for thrillers lately because this sounds like it could be a really good read! I haven’t actually read White’s Paranormalcy series yet (YET!) but I have heard such good things about her books that I have high hopes for this one.

Although I wish the cover didn’t have a person on it, I think it’s really cool looking!

It is scheduled for release on February 19 by HarperTeen so we don’t have too long to wait! What do you think does this sound like a a good one?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Goals for 2013

Hello there! Nice to see you again!

It’s Tuesday so you know that means it’s time for Top Ten Tuesday.  Every week I participate in Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by the wonderful people at The Broke and Bookish. Each week we combine our love for lists and all things bookish by creating a list based on an official theme. This week’s theme is Top Ten Bookish Goals for 2013. We’ll see if I actually make 10 bookish goals…

1. GoodReads Challenge: I am participating in the 2013 GoodReads Reading Challenge this year and I have a goal of reading 80 books. I missed the same goal this year by 6 books so I’m going for it again! I hope to exceed my goal and read even more though.

2013audiobookchallenge32. Audiobook Challenge: I also plan of being a part of the 2013 YA Audiobook Challenge again this year,  If you’ve read my blog at all you probably know how much I love audiobooks so this one is super-duper easy for me! I’m going to attempt the Head Bang’n level where I have to listen to 36+ audiobooks, and review at least 24 of them. I got this.

3. Sunshine State Books: As usual I’ll read all 15 of the 2013-2014 Florida Sunshine State books after they’re released in May.  I partly have to so I can better promote them with my students but I also love being introduced to great middle grades lit every year.

4. Read from my own stack.  I have so many books on my shelves that I haven’t even touched yet.  My goal is to take out a good chunk of those this year as well.

Scheduling

See I actually did purchase a blogging planner!

5. Jane Austen Share: Get my husband to read Pride and Prejudice.  I have been trying for years.  He loves the movies, but has yet to read any of Jane Austen’s books.  This year it shall be done.

6. Scheduling: Get my BookTasty on a scheduling calendar.  I need to be better at organizing and running BookTasty this year and I already bought a little planner to help with this.  After I came home from the store, I immediately found a fun pen and got started on planning! Nerd alert!

7. Banners: Create new banners featuring my BookTasty Monster for my weekly posts.  My husband is my graphic designer so this is really another goal for him….

8. E-Galleys: To read more of the e-galleys I receive on NetGalley. I had a bunch this year, but only read a small portion of them.

Okay, so I didn’t actually make it to 10, but I don’t want to overdo it! I am believe these goals are realistic so I think I can accomplish them all this year! Do you have any bookish goals for 2013?

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Majorly Creepy In a Fun Way: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Hi there!

Sometimes there are books that intrigue you so much you push past your fear of it being super creepy and read it anyway.  Well, that’s how I felt about Maureen Johnson’s The Name of the Star, but I read it anyway and in the end I LOVED IT!

The Name of the Star by Maureen JohnsonThe day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.
Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn’t notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

Like I said earlier, I really, really loved this book despite being hesitant to read it. Honestly I was totally surprised at how much I was enjoying it while I was reading it.  Yes, it was majorly creepy at times; in fact there was one scene in particular that had me closing my blinds earlier than usual!

Part of the reason I liked The Name of the Star as much as I did, was because  my husband and I had just gotten back from a trip to London (first time ever!).  I was especially excited to listen to the descriptions of a city I had literally just visited a few weeks before. Johnson’s description of the London Underground was spot on and had me replaying descriptions for my husband as well! And as always, a boarding school book never lets me down. I don’t know what it is but stories where the main character is away at boarding school are always so much more fun than regular school!

I really connected with Rory, the main character.  She was witty and eccentric and sincerely kind – the type of person I’d like to be friends with. Plus she is from the south and living in Florida I totally understood her story about the alligator moving towards her!

Historical fiction is a genre I really like and Johnson’s mix of the paranormal plus historical fiction was wonderful. The myth surrounding Jack the Ripper, such a mysterious and fascinating character, is not something I knew a lot about before reading The Name of the Star. The book prompted me to look up more information online, which was equally fun and terrifying!

I listened to The Name of the Star on audiobook and strongly recommend it to those of you on the hunt for a good one. The narrator Nicola Barber was one of the best I’ve heard in a while, so I plan to look for others read by her. All in all, go ahead and read this one, it is a mysterious and creepy young adult thriller, but in a fun way!

Author: Maureen Johnson

Publisher: Brilliance Audio (September 29, 2011)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins

Narrator(s): Nicola Barber

Series: First in The Shades of London series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: The Name of the Star (The Shades of London)

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Tasty Treats (6)

Hello!

This is my first Tasty Treats post of 2013!  Yay!

This past week I went a little crazy on NetGalley. Seriously. I think I was approved for 15 titles over the course of this week. I’m sure for some people, that’s not crazy, but it is for me! My goal was to find a ton of books to read for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge, and I did!

So, let’s take a peek at what tasty treats I received this week! I can’t wait to get started reading these!

P.S. Sorry about the MAJOR formatting problems with this post, I’m going to have The Husband fix it when he gets home later this afternoon.

The Culling Steven Dos Santos

The Culling Steven Dos Santos

Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe

Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

Strands of Bronze & Gold by Jane Nickerson

Strands of Bronze & Gold by Jane Nickerson

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

Delusion by Laura L. Sullivan

Delusion by Laura L. Sullivan

A Shimmer of Angels by Lisa M. Basso

A Shimmer of Angels by Lisa M. Basso

Poison by Bridget Zinn

Poison by Bridget Zinn

Dualed by Elsie Chapman

Dualed by Elsie Chapman

The Ruining by Anna Collomore

The Ruining by Anna Collomore

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Blaze by Laurie B Crompton

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Too Many Chances: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Hi!

I try to give every book I read a fair chance even if it’s just not doing it for me. Sometimes, you give a book so many chances that you end up reading the whole Fallen by Lauren Katething even though every minute is painful. Unfortunately that’s what happened with Fallen by Lauren Kate. So, this review will be short because I just don’t have much to say.

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move. Even Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce – he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret…even if it kills her.

Fallen has been out for a while, and I kept hearing incredibly mixed reviews on it. After passing it up a few times at my library, I finally decided it was time to give it a try for myself. I usually like to read the book myself and decide if I liked it or not.

I really wanted to like this one, but throughout the whole book I kept telling myself things like “Maybe it gets better” and “It must get better” “Surely it’ll get better!”.

Nope.  It didn’t.
The story itself had potential to be interesting. It really did…if only the poor writing wasn’t so distracting! Seriously, there were times were I found myself laughing out loud at some of the clichés!  I wish I had written some of them down… but that’s really besides the point.

My main complaint deals with how things are done.  When I read a book I want to be shown how the characters are feeling, not told how they feel.  There is a difference and it’s hard to explain but I know it when I read it. Throughout Fallen I kept being told that Luce feels a specific way, but her actions and words illustrated something completely different.

The audiobook narrator wasn’t horrible.  She did a decent job for what she was given.  Oh well, you can’t win them all.

Just because I didn’t like this book doesn’t mean others wont enjoy it. I have a group of 8th grade girls at school who are love this series and are made that I actually only have one copy of each book in my media center! So, the moral of the story is don’t take someone’s word for it. It is okay to try it for yourself.  The problem comes when you know it’s just not for you but you’re so afraid to DNF that you end up reading the whole thing hating it as you do.

Author: Lauren Kate

Publisher: Delacorte Press (Dec. 8, 2009)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins

Narrator(s): Justine Eyre

Series: First in the Fallen series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Fallen

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Bringing YA 2 You: Vote for Orlando!

YA TO YOU

Have you ever wished that a big YA book tour would make a stop in your hometown? Well, here’s your chance for that wish to come true! YA2U is a program that features five award-winning and best-selling authors who are holding a contest to see what city they should visit in an exclusive tour stop!

The authors are collecting votes from January 1 to February 15, and any city in the continental US or any Canadian city that has an international airport can win an exclusive visit from all five authors, including an author panel and book signing! Entering is super easy–and if you help spread the word about the contest, you can also enter win a signed copy of all of their books (TEN signed books in total!)–and the book contest is open internationally!

The authors in the program are:

ya2u books

And they want to have an event in your home town! To participate, just go to the YA2U website and let them know what city you want them to come to. And while you’re there, help spread the word about the contest and you can be entered to win all of their books–TEN signed books in total!

Here’s why the YA2U Team should
come to MY hometown…ORLANDO, FLORIDA!
Okay Orlando and Central Florida peeps! Let’s get these amazing authors to our City Beautiful! My feelings about Orlando would be best expressed in a list!
1. Fun in the Sun! The weather in Orlando is pretty much awesome. It’s almost always warm and sunny which is why people CinderellasCastlefrom all over the world come to spend their vacations here- GREAT POOL WEATHER!
2. Mickey! Yes, we are home to the most famous mouse in the world. Mickey can be seen frolicking in the warm Florida sun (see #1) at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom or any of the other smaller Disney attractions.
HarryPotter3. Harry Potter! In addition to that cute little mouse, Orlando also hosts the one and only Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios! The only place that you can get your own wand, down a mug of butter beer and fly on a hippogriff!
4. Shamu! Another famous creature whose residence is in Orlando? Shamu the whale! Shamu and her friends can be seen every day at Sea World! Plus there are penguins, dolphins and even a narwhal or two!
5. The Magic! Do you fancy basketball?! Orlando is home to the NBA team The Orlando Magic!
6. Boy Bands! Both N’Sync and The Backstreet Boys were formed in Orlando. Also, Matchbox 20 and Mandy Moore are from the area too! Yay for 90s music!NSYNC
7. Readers! Orlando is home to many readers! We’re also home to tons of librarians who jump at the chance to get their students to meet authors! Also, because Orlando is in Florida, and Florida is a little out-of-the-way, we’re not often a tour stop for authors…so we’re a littler author starved and would FREAK to have such amazing authors visit our city!
Why should the YA2U Team come to
your hometown?
Why not join in the fun today and share with others about this program and your hometown. The more votes your town gets, the closer you are to having your very own personal tour stop! Vote for YOUR town here!

And if you help spread the word, you can also participate in the book giveaway. Tell them that you learned about YA2U from me and we both get extra entries in the contest!

Click Here to Enter the Contests!

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Waiting on Wednesday: Etiquette and Espionage

Hi there!

Wow! It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve written a Waiting on Wednesday post! It feels good to be back. :)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, where book bloggers get to showcase an upcoming new release that we’re especially excited for.

This week I’m excited about Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage.

It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to finishing school. Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother’s existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea–and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right–but it’s a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine’s certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

I have a major track record of really liking boarding school books and this seems like it might be similar to Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series – only more steampunkish!

This is slated to be the first in a four book series called Finishing School and is expected to be released by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on February 5 this year, so I won’t be waiting too long!

Are there any particular upcoming titles you’re waiting on this week?

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2013 Reading Challenges

Happy 2013 everyone!

This morning I got to sleep until 9 a.m., go for a run, and now we’re about go to the Citrus Bowl to see Georgia get whooped by Nebraska. No, we’re not Nebraska fans, but we are Florida Gator fans and we are not fond of Georgia! If you’re not from the south and college football means nothing to you, I apologize…

But now, let’s talk reading challenges for 2013.

I always think it’s good to have a goal set to encourage and motivate in anything we do. I sign up for races frequently so I don’t get slack with my running for example.  I think it’s a good idea to have reading goals as well.  Why?! Because it’s just fun! So, let’s take a look at the three reading challenges I am participating in this year.

GoodReadsChallenge20131. I am want to redeem myself in the 2013 GoodReads Reading Challenge this year. I have a goal of reading 80 books. I missed the same goal this year by 6 books so I’m going for it again! I hope to exceed my goal and read even more in 2013!

2013audiobookchallenge32. I also plan of being a part of the 2013 YA Audiobook Challenge again this year,  If you’ve read my blog at all you probably know how much I love audiobooks so this one is super-duper easy for me! I’m going to attempt the Head Bang’n level where I have to listen to 36+ audiobooks, and review at least 24 of them. I got this. Thanks to A Book and A Latte for hosting!

2013DAC3. Last year I completed the 2012 Debut Authors Challenge, and although I loved it, I wasn’t sure if I was going to participate again this year.  Well, this morning on my run I decided that YEAH! I AM going to do it again! I look forward to being introduced to some brand new YA and MG authors! Yay for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge! Thanks to Hobbitsies for hosting!