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Waiting on Wednesday: Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality

Hi there again!

This week’s Waiting on Wednesday (hosted by Breaking the Spine) I want to highlight upcoming new release Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

Everybody loves Lexi. She’s popular, smart, funny…but she’s never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulbergattention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup).

Lexi’s sick of it. She’s sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She’s sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She’s sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she’s sick of having all her family’s money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection. The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren’t going to know what hit them. Because Lexi’s going to play the beauty game – and she’s in it to win it.

I’ll be honest, when I first head of this book I wasn’t to interested, but then I read up a little more on it and it does sound like it could be an interesting read. I like revenge stories, so that’s always fun! Also, I’m intrigued to see how Eulberg deals with the controversy surrounding child pageant life.

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality is expected to be published in only a few short days…March 1 to be exact!

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: March New Releases

Hello and welcome back!

Can you believe it’s pretty much already March? I can’t. Right now at school, were in the midst of FCAT preparation. Which means, Power Hour tutoring after school and pull out tutoring groups and getting the Media Center ready for the computer based test. So much to do! And on top of that I’m moving the textbook room to make extra testing space (Oh joy!).

So, anyway…that previous paragraph was not that interesting, sorry about that! So, let’s get down to business. The reason we’re all here: March New Releases!

There are always tons of new YA and MG books being released each month, but March 2013 is one I’ve really been excited for! Seriously. You guys. Clockwork Princess AND Scarlet?! I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it. So, let’s see these new releases!

Requiem by Lauren Oliver 1. Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver (March 5)

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett2. The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett (March 5)

Legacy of the ClockWork Key by Kristen Bailey3. Legacy of the Clockwork Key by Kristin Bailey (March 5)

The Center of Everything by Linda Urban4. The Center of Everything by Linda Urban (March 5)

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson5. Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson (March 12)

Panic by Sharon Draper6. Panic by Sharon Draper (March 12)

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare7. Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare (March 19)

AHHHHH I CAN’T WAIT!!

17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma8. 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma (March 21)

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar9. The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar (March 21)

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer10. Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer (March 27) (YAY!!!)

20130226-072411.jpg
11. The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

So many new releases! Which are you most excited for?

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Magic and Mobsters Unite: The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell

Well hello there!

As you may already know (from the buttons on the left side of the page or my earlier post) 2013 is the second year I’m participating in the Debut Authors Challenge! I had so much fun with this challenge last year, as it introduced me to so many new authors to love! Well, this year the first debut novel I read was The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell. Thank you to Dial books for the e-galley!

There is a new king on the throne of Tildor. Currents of political unrest sweep the country as two warring crime families seek power, The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidellangling to exploit the young Crown’s inexperience. At the Academy of Tildor, the training ground for elite soldiers, Cadet Renee de Winter struggles to keep up with her male peers. But when her mentor, a notorious commander recalled from active duty to teach at the Academy, is kidnapped to fight in illegal gladiator games, Renee and her best friend Alec find themselves thrust into a world rife with crime, sorting through a maze of political intrigue, and struggling to resolve what they want, what is legal, and what is right.

I love fantasy! I really, really do! And I really, really, believe that The Cadet of Tildor is a great addition to the genre. The world building is well done and I felt like I could clearly imagine this world where magic and mobsters unite.  There is just so much political and criminal intrigue that I want to know more about this world Renee, Savoy and Alec live in! Give me more Tildor books!

Lidell’s take on the heroine, Renee, is an interesting one. Renee, although talented, isn’t the strongest student at the Academy.  She is weaker than everyone else and is even in danger of loosing her place in the school. I appreciate that Renee, isn’t automatically this crazy beefed-up warrior girl, but that she instead works hard to get to where she wants and needs to be.

I had head a few other bloggers saying that there was no romance in The Cadet of Tildor, and how relieved they were. No romance?! I completely disagree! Although there was no major romantic story line, I found tendrils of romance throughout the story and can’t wait to see what forms in the next installment…I assume there is a sequel! I asked author Alex Lidell about this on Twitter and all she did was smile…so we’ll have to wait to see if my romance sniffing skills are as good as I think they are!

I was a little disappointed with Alec’s character. Throughout the story we’re reminded that he is Renee’s best friend, but in my opinion, he sure doesn’t act like it!  Alec doesn’t defend Renee when he should and pretty much leaves her on her own for most of the story. I guess, I need to consider the inner confusion and turmoil Alec is dealing with, but I just wasn’t a fan of Alec and how he treated Renee.

There is some violence…okay a lot of violence! But I think Lidell does a pretty good job of being realistic without being too graphic, which is always a good talent to have!

If you’re a fan of the fantasy genre, I think you’ll be pleased with Lidell’s debut, The Cadet of Tildor. It is a fun example of what can happen when fantasy and political thrillers unite! If there is to be more of Renee’s story, I will definitely be on the lookout for it!

Author: Alex Lidell

Publisher: Dial (January 10, 2013)

Format: e-galley (ARC)

Length: 400 pages

Series: standalone

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book:  The Cadet of Tildor

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She Blinded Me with Science: Reached by Allie Condie

Hello!

Sometimes I read a book, and a few months go by before I realize that I forgot to review it. So here we are with a review for Reached by Ally Condie, which I read in December!

Reached by Ally CondieCassia’s journey began with an error, a momentary glitch in the otherwise perfect façade of the Society. After crossing canyons to break free, she waits, silk and paper smuggled against her skin, ready for the final chapter. The wait is over.

One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most—family, love, choice. Her quiet revolution is about to explode into full-scale rebellion. Cassia, Ky, and Xander return to the Society to save the one thing they have been denied for so long…the power to choose.

Okay. I really, really had great hopes for this book, the final in the Matched trilogy. I loved the first book, and was hoping the third book would make up for a lack-luster second book.  Unfortunately, I was kinda disappointed.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed Reached and this series as a whole, but that’s because Condie did such an amazing job with Matched. The final two books just didn’t match up. I love the main characters, especially Cassia and enjoyed seeing how things turned out for them, but I just wasn’t in love with this book.

First, I had a hard time with the multiple narrators. I’ve read books with multiple narrators that didn’t trip me up, but I found myself getting majorly confused about who was narrating at times. I say this even though the names were on the top of the page! I kept having to look up to find out who was speaking. But, I will say that I did enjoy reading Xander’s side of the story, which was pretty interesting! And there was a new character who I think was a great addition to the story!

Second, the science behind the plague and it’s cure was a little too much for me. I felt a little bored and lost when the characters were discussing the reasons for the mutation and all that. It just seemed to me that all of this explanation was too much and instead of adding to the story in a positive way, the story was bogged down under the weight of it. Actually, I would say, she blinded me with science!

One thing I did enjoy was seeing the way in which once a tiny ounce of freedom had been given people began to create with it. I’ve always loved Condie’s focus on creation (of art and culture) an intriguing part of this story and seeing the urge to create spread to so many more on a larger scale was very cool.

So, all in all, did I love Reached? No. Did I hate it? No. Was I a little disappointed with this series? Yes. Reached and the Matched trilogy was still an interesting read, but it just didn’t resonate me the way others did.  I would, however, still recommend it to high school readers and up who enjoy dystopian fiction.

Author: Ally Condie

Publisher: Dutton (November 13, 2012)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 512 pages

Series: third book in the Matched trilogy

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book:  Reached (Matched Trilogy Book 3)

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Waiting on Wednesday: How (Not) to Find a Boyfriend

Well, welcome back!

Before we get started, don’t forget that Waiting on Wednesday is weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to promote upcoming releases that we’re excited about!

How (Not) to Find a Boyfriend by Allyson Valentine Schrier is the book that I’m waiting on this week. Doesn’t it sound like a fun read?!

Sophomore Nora Fulbright is the most talented and popular new cheerleader on the Riverbend High cheer squad. Never mind that she used to be queen of the nerds—a chess prodigy who answered every How Not to Find a Boyfriend by Allyson Valentine Schrierquestion first, aced every test and repelled friends at every turn—because this year, Nora is determined to fully transition from social pupa to full-blown butterfly, even if it means dumbing down her entire schedule. But when funny, sweet and very cute Adam moves to town and steals Nora’s heart with his untra-smarts and illegally cute dimple, Nora has a problem. How can she prove to him that she’s not a complete airhead? Nora devises a seemingly simple plan to barter her way into Adam’s classes that involves her classmates, friends—and her older brother Phil’s award-winning AP history paper. But soon, Nora can barely keep track of her trades, and struggles to stay in control of her image. In the end, the only thing that can save Nora is a chess tournament—that she has to compete in wearing her cheerleading uniform. Can she prove to everyone that she can be both a butterfly and a nerd?

I have quite some time to wait as How (Not) to Find a Boyfriend isn’t scheduled for release until June 13.  Summer?! Summer?! I have to wait all that time for a book I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy?! Well, I guess it does sound like a good beach/poolside read!

Are there any books you’re waiting for this week?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Characters in Fantasy

Hi there and Happy Tuesday!

Don’t forget that Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

This week’s theme is Top Ten Favorite Characters in X Genre.  So, the genre of my choice is fantasy! I really like fantasy and fairy tale retellings and some of my favorite books fall into this category. The characters I listed below are all females who rock the fantasy genre.

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale1. Miri from Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Miri is intelligent and brave even though she doesn’t know it yet.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore2. Katsa from Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Katsa is the type of person I’m be totally intimidated by if I met her in real life. She’s like a warrior of awesomeness.

Fire by Kristin Cashore3. Fire from Fire by Kristin Cashore

Fire is probably another person I’d be intimidated of in real life, but she is strong amidst her vulnerability

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater4. Puck Connolly from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Sure, Puck is strong and brave, but she is also just your average teenage girl and I think we’d get along.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer5. Cinder from Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Okay, so it’s actually sci-fi, not fantasy, but I don’t care.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare6. Tessa Gray from The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

I want to be Tessa. She is an American in London in love with a cute Welsh Shadow Hunter. I think we’d get along just fine.

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George7. The sisters from Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

I love how all twelve sisters have their own personalities and their own role to play in story.  They’re pretty cool.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray8. Gemma Doyle from The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray

Gemma is a Victorian bad@$$. She has supernatural abilities and yet also wants to be a Gibson Girl!

A Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce9. Charlotte Miller from A Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Charlotte works hard to save her family, plus she dominates the Rumpelstiltskin retelling.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale10. Ani from The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Ani is sweet and humble and chock full of cool supernatural abilities!

So there you have it!  All of these characters are fabulous fantasy heroines and if you haven’t read these books, they come highly recommended!  Who are you favorite fantasy heroines?

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Book Love!

Hello there and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today is the day to talk about love and romance!

But I’m not here to talk about love between two people, I’m here to talk about love between a girl (or guy!) and her BOOKS!

Relationship

Yes, you know that warm fuzzy feeling you have in your heart for books? The way you spend hours and hours gazing into the pages of books? The way you fall in love with fictional characters?

Cheating

Yes, that’s right. BOOK LOVE! I has it! And I know that a lot of you out there have it too! Let’s talk about the ways in which we show our book love to the world!

1. Talking about books. First and foremost I ADORE talking about books I’ve read or am reading with pretty much anyone who will listen! This is one of the reasons I know being a librarian is the perfect job for me.  I get to talk to my students about books ALL the time and I’m PAID to do it! I love hearing my students yell, “Hey Ms. W! I finished that book you told me about!”  as I walk around campus.

2. Clothing. One way I like to show off my book love is by wearing it on my sleeve…literally. Bookish clothing is always so fun!

HGshirt

My Hunger Games t-shirt!

VladShirt

Ya gotta love Vlad Tod!

3. Mugs.  One of my favorite things to do while reading is sipping a nice warm cuppa! These are actually my two most used mugs (you can tell my the chip in the “Mrs. Darcy” one.

Nothing says book love like mugs!

Nothing says book love like mugs!

4. Jewelery. Books are really a girl’s best friend, so bookish jewelery is a fabulous way to declare your love of books.

scorpio races

I won this Scorpio Races inspired necklace in a giveaway last year. Whenever people ask about it, I get to tell them about how awesome this book is!

A cute Mansfield Park pendant my mom bought me!

A cute Mansfield Park inspired pendant my mom bought me!

5. Book photos. I take pictures of my books and post them on Instagram for my friends to see. Seriously.  Book love makes you do crazy things.

I liken book pictures to kissing pictures. No one wants to see it but I post it anyway! I'm just soo in love!

I liken book pictures to kissing pictures. No one wants to see it but I post it anyway! I’m just soo in love!

6. Book bags. I’m pretty clear about which of my book boyfriends really and truly has my heart!

Darcy Bag

I bought this Darcy bag in Bath when we were there on vacation.

7. Bookish events! I love going to author visits or other bookish events. They happen rarely in Orlando, so when I find one I make sure I’m there!

I met author Kristi Cook over the summer. She was really nice!

I met author Kristi Cook over the summer. She was really nice!

So you see, there are tons of ways us book lovers (lovahs’?!?!) can declare our feelings for books.  What are some of the ways you show your book love?!

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Waiting on Wednesday: This is What Happy Looks Like

Happy Wednesday everyone!

It’s time for Waiting on Wednesday – a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.

This week I’m super excited about the upcoming release of Jennifer E. Smith’s new novel This is What Happy Looks Like!

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. SmithWhen teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?

I feel in love with Jennifer E. Smith when I read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, which was released last year. I honestly had no idea she had another book coming out, so I was really surprised when I came across This Is What Happy Looks Like on goodreads! It sounds really cute and right up my alley! What girl hasn’t dreamed of randomly meeting the cute celebrity and falling in love?! Also, I think this cover is one of my favorites!

Well, we have until April 2 before we can enjoy this book, so we have to wait a little longer!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ohhh La-La My Favorite Romances

Hiya!

Every week I participate in Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This week, in honor of Valentine’s Day, the theme is Top Ten Favorite Romances.

So, let’s talk romantic books (not romance novels…because that’s just not my thing)! I absolutely love romance in books, in fact any book I am going to LOVE has to have a bit of romance. It’s just a fact of my reading life! ROMANCE! GIVE ME ROMANCE!

I will not be listing my obvious choices, such as Pride & Prejudice, North & South, Northanger Abbey or Bridget Jones’ Diary because those romances all go without saying!

So, let’s start with some of my favorite Young Adult romances.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie PerkinsAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie PerkinsLola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. SmithThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah DessenWhat Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Along for the Ride by Sarah DessenAlong for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Okay, so let’s move on to some non-YA romances that I love! (Note these are NOT YA and some are not recommended (by me at least) for teens).

Redeeming Love by Francine RiversRedeeming Love by Francine Rivers

A Rather Lovely Inheritance by CA BelmondA Rather Lovely Inheritance by C.A. Belmond

Austenland by Shannon HaleAustenland and Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Imaginary Men at Anjali BanerjeeImaginary Men by Anjali Banerjee

Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg CabotSize 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

So there you have it! All of the books listed below are great romances and sometimes you just need a great romance in your life!

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I Finally Read John Green! Paper Towns by John Green

Well hello again!

Last year I realized that I hadn’t read any of John Green’s books. So I quickly went to my public library and grabbed the audiobook of An Abundance of Katherines. I didn’t like it.  In fact I didn’t finish it. But I continued to hear people talking, writing, and tweeting about how much I needed to read his books! So I picked Paper Towns.  I liked this one much better.

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she Paper Towns by John Greencracks open a window and climbs back into his life – dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge – he follows. After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues – and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer Q gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.

So, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this book. I was pretty much hooked from the start of the book. I mean, starting a story off with a dead body is always a good hook, right?! Well, yes! It is!  And I had no idea that this book was actually a mystery at its heart, which was kinda cool!

The main thing I enjoyed about Paper Towns is that is set in Orlando, particularly the Baldwin Park (Jefferson Park in the book) area, which I live incredibly close to.  In fact, Q and his friends all attend Winter Park High School, which I jog by frequently as it’s a 5 min jog from my house! Pretty stinkin’ cool! I love stories set in places I’ve been to, but books about where I live are even better!

So, let’s talk characters. I really liked Q and could totally relate to him and his friends.  He is a rule follower by nature who doesn’t like to take chances (sounds like we have some similarities!) and has an awesome sense of humor. So, yeah I liked Q. He grows and changes as a character throughout the story. I don’t quite know if I liked Margo Roth Spiegelman. Actually, I’m not sure if the reader is supposed to like her at all. She is so selfish and narcissistic.  This girl has obvious mental health issues but has seemingly no intention of getting healthy. But at the same time she is adventurous and exciting and completely charming. No wonder Q is drawn to her. My confusion towards Margo had no affect on my enjoyment of the story though. It’s a good story.

So, what did have an effect on my enjoyment of Paper Towns? Okay. Here we go.  The use of the “R word”. On multiple occasions.  For those of you unsure of what the “R word” is, it’s the use of the word “retard(ed)” in a derogatory way. So why does this have an effect on my enjoyment? Well, “when ‘retard’ or ‘retarded’ are used…as synonyms for ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ by people without disabilities, it only reinforces painful stereotypes of people with intellectual disabilities as being less valued members of humanity” (r-word.org). Coming across this word in Paper Towns, was incredibly disappointing and distracting for me. I still liked the book (although definitely less than I would have had it not been used) and I don’t believe that John Green is a bad person or anything like that, I am just deeply hurt and bothered by such an accomplished (and awarded) author’s use of this hateful word.

All in all, Paper Towns is most definitely a YA novel and I would only recommend it to older middle school readers and up, but like I said before, it’s a good story and an enticing mystery. I wouldn’t say that I loved it (and I definitely didn’t dislike it!) but hey! At least I’ve finally read a John Green novel!

Author: John Green

Publisher: Brilliance Audio (October 16, 2008)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 8 hours 3 minutes

Narrator(s): Dan John Miller

Series: standalone

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Paper Towns