Friday, March 28, 2014

Library GrabBag: We're All Mad Here

I might have mentioned a time or two that I'm a HUGE Alice in Wonderland fan.  There's something about Alice, a day dreamer, who finds herself in an unexpected world filled with chaos and craziness, whimsy and mania, that gets my imagination pumping.  I suppose the same can be said for The Wizard of Oz and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

So when my Teen Librarian came up to me with the idea of an after-hours Mad Hatter Party, I was totally on board.  She's also planning a Minecraft after-hours this May, but I have to admit that this is the one I'm most excited about, bringing literature (a classic at that) into teen programming is always special.

Here's what she has planned:

- The evening will kick off with an icebreaker.  One teen will be chosen to play the Cheshire Cat.  The remaining participants will stand in a circle with Cheshire in the middle.  Cheshire's goal is to get another teen to laugh.  No talking.  No touching.  Just good old fashioned fun

- The icebreaker will be followed by the caucus race, which is basically just a chaotic...every man for himself...scavenger hunt that will burn off a little energy and get the teens moving.  There will be stations scattered across the library's second floor.  When "off with her head!" is announced, each teen must drop what they're doing and rush to another station.  Teens will be searching for (5) colored mad hatter hats, door mice to glue to teacups, roses to paint red, and will participate in a toss game.  The first (5) teens to successfully complete all the tasks will earn a raffle ticket for prizes that will be awarded at the end of the evening.

- Next up is the cardboard house challenge.  (6) teams will attempt to build the smallest house possible out of cardboard that will fit one member of their team inside.  More raffle tickets will be earned.

- Now it's time for some pizza and a movie.  We'll be watching Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland while enjoying snacks.

- Finally, it's Mad Hatter Tea Party Musical Chairs.  We'll have to break the participants up into two games, but each teen will be carrying a tea cup filled with water.  The last man standing must have water left in his cup in order to win!

As always, if there's time left, we'll squeeze in a good old fashioned game of sardines.  A crowd favorite. Hopefully I'll have some pictures for you soon!

Have you tried a Mad Hatter Party, or do you have any successful book related after hours programs?

Good Luck Becky!!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Curtsies & Conspiracies

Author: Gail Carriger
Info: Little, Brown Young Readers, copyright 2013, 8 CDs

A review in 10 words (or thereabouts): Sophronia doesn't mess around, especially when it comes to her friends.

Sophronia's first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy (won't Mumsy be surprised?). Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.
Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers' quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship's boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a school trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot--one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

~Goodreads Description~

As series go, this was an excellent sequel.  Etiquette & Espionage introduced the reader to a crazy world where some girls have the privilege of attending Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy to become mastermind spies.  Things get serious when Sophronia discovers a plot a-foot, a battle against science between the vampires and pickleman.

The Awesome
I'm pretty sure I mentioned, in a previous review, that Sophronia is a force to be reckoned with as female protagonists go.  She sharp, quick witted, athletic, and willing to bat her eyes when the occasion arises.  She's good at what she does, and she makes no apologies for it which is so refreshing.  In so many books, as in real life, smart girls feel they need to hide their talents to fit in.  Sophronia stands out, and she does it proudly.

Another awesome...Little, Brown Books hit it out of the park again on the cover choice.  It's feminine and wicked all at the same time.  Love it!

The Not So Awesome
I listened to the audiobook (because Moira Quick is a fantastic reader), and while I thought it was excellent, audiobooks are always a little difficult for me to keep up with.  It took forever to listen to with a two-minute ride to work and all, and there are a lot of characters to keep straight.  A lot of characters and a pretty intense plot with strange names in a strange world.  As Carriger's world, and Sophronia's, continues to grow, I worry that too many characters and plot points will start to distract from the fun of the story.

Overall, an excellent read, and an excellent audiobook.  You kind of most definitely need to read book one first to have any chance of understanding what's happening, but that's okay, cause both are fun reads.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Astonishing X-Men

Author: Joss Whedon, John Cassaday (Artist)
Info: Marvel, 2008, Volumes 1-4

A review in 10 words (or thereabouts): A bad reputation has put the X-Men in a bind, and now they need to seem useful before a "cure" wipes them out.
Volume 1 : Cyclops and Emma Frost re-form the X-Men with the express purpose of "astonishing" the world. But when breaking news regarding the mutant gene unexpectedly hits the airwaves, will it derail their new plans before they even get started?

Volume 2: A tragic death at the Xavier Institute reveals a powerful enemy living among the X-Men that they could never have suspected - and no, it's not Magneto. Things heat up in a way none of the X-Men ever dreamed, but will teamwork save the day when they can't even depend on themselves.

Volume 3: Emma Frost's erratic behavior has the X-Men spinning in a non-stop downward spiral. Will an unlikely union be the final straw? After secretly lying in wait for months, the new Hellfire Club makes its move! Plus: The X-Man destined to destroy the Breakworld stands revealed! Who is it, and what will be their fate? 

Volume 4: After the shocking and brain-smashing events of recent issues, the X-Men are off to protect the Earth from its destruction at the hands of the Breakworld. And when it's all over, nothing will ever be the same!

~Goodreads Description~

Yes.  You've read correctly.  I have finally tackled a Marvel series!  And it was awesome (I almost went there...I almost called it "astonishing" :).  I'll admit that I really only picked up this particular series because of a certain Joss Whedon.  I heart him and his storytelling just a little bit.  And I was not at all surprised that this particular storyline kept me on the edge of my seat.

The X-Men history is so immense that starting somewhere other than the beginning makes reading a bit difficult.  I didn't know the back story of the characters and the context of their particular angst, but I kept going and realized at a particular point that I didn't really care.  It didn't hurt that I was already familiar with the X-Men and their abilities...which leads me to a question.  What's the difference between a mutant and a superhero?  In volume 1, there is hinting that a mutant "cure" has been found, and the X-Men don't have a particularly favorable reputation.  People like the Fantastic Four, but not the X-Men.  Why?  How are "superheroes" not mutants?  What am I missing?

Now what?  Any suggestions on other must-read X-Men series?  Or comics/graphic novels in general?  I'm not sure what to try next, and I'd love some suggetions!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Top 10 Things On My Bookish Bucket List

Top Ten Things On My Bookish Bucket List
(Feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)

I've got quite a random bucket list that I add to here and there.  I want to see a moose in its natural habitat, visit Roswell during an alien festival, play tambourine on stage at a concert, and be somewhere with little light pollution during a meteor shower (just to name a few).  I've never really sat down to think about book related goals.  Well now I have ten things to add to the crazy array of things I'd like to do before I die.  What's on your list? 

1) Go on a book vacation - Read Anna and the French Kiss in Paris or follow the path of 13 Little Blue Envelopes or travel the streets of Prague while reading The Book of Blood and Shadow or...

2) Meet Jasper Fforde - Cuz he's awesome, and that's all I have to say about that.

3) Write a "novel" and have the courage to let someone else read it -I've finished NaNoWriMo twice, and have yet to let anyone read my stories.

4) Read 150 books in 1 year - Think I'm going to have stop watching TV :)

5) Participate in World Book Night - Cause at heart I am a coward, and while I love to spread the love of reading, going up to strangers is not quite my thing

6) Read every play by William Shakespeare - It will be painful, but I can do it.

7) Attend Book Expo - The mecca of mingling with reader's rock stars.

8) Finish every series I start - Probably going to have to go from this point on, cause I've dug myself quite a whole.

9) Read The Tale of Despereaux to a young child - Be it a child of my own or a niece/nephew, I want to share this gem with someone small and special.

10) Read a work of fiction by a Russian novelist - I love the movies, now it's time to put in the effort for the books themselves.

Happy Reading!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Ask the Passengers

Author: A.S. King
Info: Little Brown BFYR, copyright 2012, 304 pages

A review in 10 words (or thereabouts): You can't pick your family, but you can pick what type of person you'll be.

Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother's pushiness and her father's lack of interest tell her they're the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn't know the passengers inside, but they're the only people who won't judge her when she asks them her most personal questions . . . like what it means that she's falling in love with a girl.

~Goodreads Description~

The Awesome
Let's just dive right into the awesome.  Final a female protagonist, in the real world, who totally kicks butt. And not literally, which is even more exciting.  Here's a teenage girl that is scared, misunderstood, and living in a terrible environment, but she perseveres.  She never compromises who she is and what she stands for. She's real, and she's fierce.

The Not So Awesome
There's a lot going on in this story.  There's the "personal" Astrid, struggling with her sexuality and looking for someone who will actually listen to what she needs.  There's Astrid the daughter, living in a home life that is far from desirable.  There's Astrid the philosopher, imagining "Frank" Socrates as her only confidant, pondering life's big questions and searching for answers.  And there's Astrid the dreamer, staring up at airplanes in the sky sending out love.  At times, there was too much going on.  Imaginary Frank would have been fine.  Or sending love to passengers and hearing their stories would have been fine.  But both together got a bit overwhelming, and at times, distracted from the story.

Over the past couple of years I have read easily a dozen LGBT titles, and I was often left frustrated.  Story was often times sacrificed for issue.  Sexuality was put on display instead of telling a story about teenagers dealing with real world issues.  King gets it right.  This is a read I would quickly suggest to teens questioning and struggling.  Astrid confronts her confusion with maturity.  King shows the struggles of secrets and the desire to live truthfully. She confronts the topic from teens comfortable and those not as comfortable.  Teens lustful and those looking genuinely for love and acceptance.  Astrid is confused.  And that's okay.  She's scared.  And that's okay. She's not showy or forceful about her feelings.  And that's okay.  She's a girl. Looking for a way.  She's a girl that's looking for love, and when she can't find it, she sends it to others.

Despite some of the plot quirks, the more I've thought about this book, the more I really appreciate what A.S. King has done.  A great read.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

#I Want My Nerd HQ

So I'm not a big promoter.  That's not really my thing.  But I am a fangirl, so I thought I'd pass this little jewel along.

"I Want My Nerd HQ" is a Nerd Machine campaign to raise funds for the 2014 Nerd HQ event in San Diego this July.   Nerd HQ brings you twenty-five plus hours of "Conversation for a Cause" content, live-streamed to everyone, FOR FREE, no matter where you are in the world.  Let's break this down.  You get to see hilarious and awesome panels with some of fandoms favorites (Nathan Fillion, Matt Smith, Tom Hiddelston, Jared Padalecki) while raising money for a pretty special cause, Operation Smile.

Chances are I'll never make it to San Diego for Comic Con, but I can enjoy great content from Nerd HQ via the intra-webs and help a pretty amazing charity along the way.  Who would pass up the chance to see quality Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk interviews...oh, and the master of ceremonies himself, Mr. Zachary Levi. (Check out last year's videos!)

Luckily for me, this also fits perfectly with my library's Summer Reading Program for teens.  We're celebrating a summer where nerds can unite at several fandom themed programs and get involved in the community in fun ways.

If you like how this sounds, or you want some more info, check out  Or the video below.  Sigh.  It's Chuck Bartowski :)  All they're asking for is $5.  $5 and thousands can be raised this July for Operation Smile.  And you can giggle privately in the comfort of your own home when Captain Malcom Reynolds comes on the screen!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Epic John Green Moment

So this happened.  I promise.  It was a magical moment.

Last week I attended the annual Public Library Association (PLA) conference.  Yes.  It's a librarian conference, and while it doesn't sound all that exciting, it's really pretty nifty.  There are inspiring keynote speakers (Simon Sinek hit it out of the park!), presentations, lots of free swag, and authors.  AUTHORS!  They come, they sign said swag, and they make you feel all warm in fuzzy inside because, let's face it, authors are rock stars!

Back to John Green.  My fabulous library fit the bill for the John Green luncheon.  1,000 librarians piled into the Sagamore Ballroom at the Indianapolis Convention Center to hear him speak.  I'll admit it, we were all basically fan-girling out.  The poor guy had a security guard standing behind him while he ate.  A bodyguard!  In a room of librarians!  That was awesome enough.  And then he started speaking.

The dude is eloquent, thoughtful, hilarious, and genuine.  He talked about maps and infinities and how Amazon will never be able to replace a person when it comes to offering recommended reads.  It was all pretty fabulous, followed quickly by a stampede.  Yes, a stampede of 1,000 librarians trying to be first in line to get a book signed.

So there I am, waiting patiently in line with some of my fellow co-workers when we at last approach the switchback-queue.  There would be no posing for pictures with the author, so we had to sneak them in when we could.

And no, this wasn't weird at all.  Not too long after the above picture, it was my turn.  I was going to meet him (well, after I assured a very nice "bouncer" that I wouldn't club John Green with the ceramic gnome in my arms :).  And this is what comes out of my mouth..."My gnome totally did a sneak attack photo with you just a few minutes ago," to which he chuckled, smiled, said thank you, and handed me my book.

I know, I'm a brilliant orator.  I start to walk away when I hear, "Wait." Why would John Green be asking me to wait?  I keep going.  "Is that the same gnome from 2007."  SCORE!  I turn around to see a very smiley, shocked John Green looking at me.

Me: "Yes."

JG: "From vlogbrothers?  In 2007?"
Me: "Yes."
JG: "I can't believe it!  That is so awesome!  From 2007?"
Me: "Yes." (Again.  Brilliant orator.)
JG: "I'm going to f@#$ing cry."
Me: "I've been a fan for awhile! You've met him a couple of times. He's even wearing his nerdfighter cape!"
JG: "That is so awesome, you just made my day!"

Yeah.  That just happened.  John Green...the JOHN GREEN...remembered Mike the Garden Gnome.  Perfect moment.

And then I got to go downstairs and gawk at random adults in hilarious costumes for comic con.

It was a good day.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Top 10 Books On My Spring 2014 TBR List

 Top Ten Books On My Spring 2014 To-Be-Read List
(Feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)

I make these lists, and then I get distracted by the flashy new covers of books that come into my library.  In a perfect world, where I have 5-10 extra hours in my day, these are the books that I would read this spring.

1) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

2) The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

3) Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

4) Red Rising by Pierce Brown

5) The Archived by Victoria Schwab

6) What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

7) We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

8) On the Fence by Kasi West

9) Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

10) The One by Kiera Cass

What's on your list?  Happy reading!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Into the Still Blue

Author: Veronica Rossi
Info: HarperCollins, copyright 2014, 389 pages

A review in 10 words (or thereabouts): A cautionary tale on why we need to protect our natural resources...and there's a cute boy involved :)

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do--and they are just as determined to stay together.

Within the confines of a cave they're using as a makeshift refuge, they struggle to reconcile their people, Dwellers and Outsiders, who are united only in their hatred of their desperate situation. Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. Then Roar arrives in a grief-stricken fury, endangering all with his need for revenge.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble an unlikely team for an impossible rescue mission. Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival--he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

~Goodreads Description~

I finished a series!  Did you hear that blog-o-sphere?!  Emily has actually finished a series in the same year that the final book was released!  This shouldn't be such a huge accomplishment, but it soooo is :)

The Awesome
Rossi does it right.  She doesn't offer half a book of backstory.  She dives right in to the action, assuming the reader can do his or her job of remembering what has happened in previous titles.  And her characters!  Oh her characters are the best part of the story.  The world is terrifying.  The storyline intense.  But the characters pull it all together.  Aria isn't a damsel in distress.  She puts herself out there, despite danger and frustration, and works with the boys to find a solution to a problem.  Roar!  Sweet, gentle, fierce Roar is full of emotion and compassion but can kill you in the blink of an eye.  And Peregrine...oh Perry, how I adore him.  He has the weight of an entire tribe on his shoulders, despite near impossible odds, he doesn't give in.  He doesn't allow his anger and sadness to rule his actions.  And he's dreamy.

The Not So Awesome
I was expecting a lot of action, but I felt a lull halfway through the book.  Aria, Soren, Roar, and Perry find themselves prisoners in the Komodo, a moving fortress of sorts, and the action falls off quite a bit.  There's a lot of crying, a lot of pining, but not action.  Rossi does start to show the division between the factions which is interesting though, and the story talks a lot about power, the abuse of power, the use of power to intimidate and contain.  Then there's the end (which I fully admit I read first because I'm just like that).  It was a little clean and maybe a bit unbelievable.  It turned out exactly as I had hoped it would...but is that always a good thing?

Despite my concerns, I absolutely loved the conclusion.  The characters find resolution, good triumphs, and there's hope for a brighter future.  I'm okay with that!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Books To Action (And Mike the Garden Gnome attends another library conference)

It's PLA week!  Feels like we've been waiting for the national conference to arrive forever.  The Public Library Association has chosen our wonderful city for this year's annual conference and the first day was a blast.  Can't wait to learn some more today!

I went to a very interesting program on "Book To Action," a program that combines literacy with community service.  We've dabbled in community reads before, but we've never tried to adding a civic engagement element to our programming.  I love this idea though!  What an excellent way to start a dialogue among your patron base while promoting literacy.  The panel of librarians gave several examples of programs they had been into action.  Each program utilized important community partnerships along with books discussions and events that focusing on some portion of the read.

One library read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and utilized the master gardeners in the area for interesting programs on gardening.  They also asked for help from the local farmers markets for programming on eating local and healthy recipes, and had a volunteer day at a community garden.

You can start small or go big.  The beauty of the program is that you can make it work for your particular community.  And as I sat there in the presentation, I also realized that it would be an excellent opportunity for public libraries to collaborate with the local high school.  Most high schools have service requirements or National Honors Societies who are looking for opportunities to get teens involved in volunteering in the community.  What a great way to get the teens involved in civic engagement!  Maybe they could read the book (or portions of it) and attend a book discussion, plan an activity, or attend the service day.  The possibilities are endless.

Watchout Greenwood...I have a feeling their is a Book To Action program coming your way in the not too distant future :)

And just because he's that cool, here a few pics from Mike the Garden Gnome's first day at PLA.  It's not his first librarian conference and all was fairly quiet today.  Here's hoping we find some way to get ourselves into trouble today :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

So I met in the middle...

Recap time!  Last Friday I announced that I was completing The Art Assignment's first project.  I was going to meet my friend Rachel in a field.  Well, here's what really happened...

I hit the road about 10:15am, thinking I was leaving myself a little time to get turned around on Indiana's country roads.  I settled into the car, audiobook ready for entertainment, a bag of crafty items and cookies by my side, and headed confidently north.

Then I met the cows.  I was probably a half mile from my final destination, but I was a bit turned around.  I make a right on a road that's not really a road and end up on someone's cow farm.  There are, literally, cows roaming around free.  Realizing my error, I decide to make a three-point turn and almost get stuck in the mud in front of a herd of annoyed looking bovine.

When I finally find the field that I think is our field...there's no Rachel.  So I break the rule and call.  Turns out, Rachel was running a bit late too and was just down the road.  To be honest, I was pretty darned surprised we didn't end up waiting for each other in front of different fields.  Her car pulls up and we celebrate our success that is promptly cut short because we need to find a bathroom for a sick kiddo. 

 Determined to follow through on our original plan, we hit a gas station and make our way back to the muddy field to make a craft.  Yes, we actually stood on the side of the road in a muddy field to make a craft.  And the final product was beautiful...don't you think?!

We finished the outing with a stop at McDonald's.  Fun was had by all.  Thanks Rachel for being a great sport and meeting me in the middle!  So glad the kids and Bekah got to tag along!

And if you've got the time, check out Rachel's version of events over at her blog!

(I just noticed that I use a lot of exclamation points!  I should probably work on that!)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Top 10 All Time Favorite Retellings

Top Ten All Time Favorite Retellings
(Feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)

While I don't often re-read books (I have my favorites I revisit, but on the whole...) I do enjoy a good retelling.  Some stories just lend themselves well to reboots and reimaginings.  Here are a few of my all time favorites:

1) Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I really love the scifi, android angle of the classic fairytale.

2) Entwined by Heather Dixon
Not the only retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, but it's my favorite!

3) Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
The frog prince at its best.

4) For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
A creative, unique take on an Austen classic.

5) The Looking Wars by Frank Beddor
Fighting card armies, interesting backstory, a little love...awesome.

6) Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
A "killer" version of Cinderella.  Ba-dum.

7) Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
 Pride and Prejudice with teens.  Not quite the Darcy swoon, but worth the read.

8) Cupid by Julius Lester
My first mythological retelling.  And I loved it.

9) A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
Grimm stories are scary.  And this is no exception.

10) The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker
Just an all around good story with some classic fantasy.

Happy reading!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Q & A: In the Classroom

We're heading to the classroom for this week's Q & A: The Librarian Way!  The classroom setting is an important space for both school and public librarians, so Julia and I are chatting about what we do to lend a helping hand.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Meet in the Middle...It's an adventure!

I'm going on an adventure tomorrow!  An art adventure!  Now doesn't that sound like fun?  In case you haven't heard about The Art Assignment with John and Sarah Urist Green, here's your chance...

So I'm meeting my super-crafty, totally awesome friend Rachel (TheBlueTulipBlog) in a field somewhere north of Anderson.  Well, I'm sort of afraid of breaking the law, so I'll probably meet her on the side of the road next to the field so that I'm not arrested for trespassing.  Close enough.  We're each going to bring along 5 crafty items and see what we can make together at the big meet.  

Hopefully you'll be inspired by the this rather cool art project (of course it's cool - John Green is involved :) and maybe want to meet someone in the middle somewhere.  Get outside, help bring on spring, and let's get creative!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Midwinterblood: A review

Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Info: Indigo, copyright 2011, 272 pages
Printz Award Winner

Hub Challenge Read - #hubchallenge

A review in 10 words (or thereabouts): A book with just about everything (especially things that don't really go together).  Vampires, vikings, and a "love" affair that spans centuries.

Have you ever had the feeling that you've lived another life? Been somewhere that has felt totally familiar, even though you've never been there before, or felt that you know someone well, even though you are meeting them for the first time? It happens. In 2073 on the remote and secretive island of Blessed, where rumour has it that no one ages and no children are born, a visiting journalist, Eric Seven, and a young local woman known as Merle are ritually slain. Their deaths echo a moment ten centuries before, when, in the dark of the moon, a king was slain, tragically torn from his queen. Their souls search to be reunited, and as mother and son, artist and child, forbidden lovers, victims of a vampire they come close to finding what they've lost. In a novel comprising seven parts, each influenced by a moon - the flower moon, the harvest moon, the hunter's moon, the blood moon - this is the story of Eric and Merle whose souls have been searching for each other since their untimely parting.

~Goodreads Description~

Moral of the story...stay away from Blest Island.  Stay away from crazy tea offering elderly men.  Stay away from dragon flowers.  Stay away from vikings and their dooming sacrifices.  Just stay away.

The Awesome
Sedgwick doesn't a pretty awesome job creating atmosphere.  Every chapter (super short chapters by the way) take you right to the edge.  He creates a dark and foreboding mood that leaves you wondering what in the world is happening and worrying whether or not these strange characters that you really don't have a chance to get to know will survive whatever is about to come there way.  (Long sentence...sorry :)

The Not So Awesome
The setup of the story is awkward.  you get glimpses of lives that you never get to understand.  There is a supposedly epic love story going on, but you never feel this heartwrenching love.  You never really get a picture of why these two people who live life after life for the hope of being together again.  And then there are the vampires.  Reincarnation is one thing...I can maybe suspend disbelief and by the idea that some wicked viking sacrifice caused this traumatic, dramatic story...but vampires?  Really?

I can't help to think that Sedgwick was trying to do something epic here.  He just fell short.  The short chapters keep the story moving...and there is that rather cool mood thing going on, but overall, not my favorite story ever.  I do like archaeologists though.  There really aren't enough archaeologists in teen literature.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Top 10 Popular Authors I've Never Read

Top Ten Popular Authors I've Never Read
(Feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)

This list makes me feel like a terrible librarian.  How could I not have experienced the popular titles by this particular this of authors?  The stories that countless teens have checked out and summarized for me?  The's terrible!  I get distracted.  There are so many new and shiny books that steal my attention.  So in no particular order, here is my reading shame...

1) Darren Shan
2) Sharon Draper
3) Ellen Hopkins
4) Lisi Harrison
5) Rachel Cohn
6) Ann Brashares
7) James Dashner
8) Lauren Oliver
9) Melissa de la Cruz
10) Cory Doctorow
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