Friday, December 25, 2015

Sidekicks review

by Jack D. Ferraiolo
Amulet Books
April 2011

First line: "I'm sitting on a filthy chimney, eighty stories above street level, watching from the shadows as one of my personal top five dumbest villains tries his best to wrap his mind around a hostage situation of his own creation."

Middle-schooler Scott Hutchinson, better known as Bright Boy, is the sidekick to world-renowned superhero Phantom Justice. Superheroes are referred to by the scientific appellation plus/plus. Supers can have super strength, speed, intelligence, or some combination of all three.

Witty repartee, "punny" insults and other cheesy dialogue is part of the territory, along with standard-issue tights and capes. The problem is, Bright Boy has outgrown his traditional yellow and red outfit, and much to his mortification and dismay, after saving a particularly gorgeous young female hostage from a supervillain, his super-tight tights leave nothing to the imagination. Humiliated, he begs Phantom Justice's permission to update his costume, and is roundly refused. Thus starts his rebellious streak... before he realizes it, he's hanging out with Monkeywrench, the sidekick to Phantom Justice's archenemy Dr. Chaotic. Monkeywrench, a.k.a. Allison Mendez, is probably every young man's dream - beautiful, daring, and she knows what she wants. She and Scott share several kisses, nearly all of them initiated by her.

One feature I loved about this book was that the meetings between supervillains use black pages with white type. There were plenty of twists, turns and sudden reversals towards the end of the book, some of which I saw coming, and others which I never could have predicted. I had expected one of Scott's teachers to reveal that she was a superhero, but nothing seemed to come of that, although I was surprised by a few of the other characters' hidden abilities. I'll recommend this to comic book aficionados looking for a lengthier read, or anyone looking for a funny, action-packed book with a hint of romance.

Compare to:
Sidekicked - John David Anderson
The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy series - William Boniface
Sidekicks - Dan Santat
Chance Fortune and the Outlaws - Shane Berryhill

I borrowed this book from the library.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Very Hungry Caterpillar Display

Here's a display I've been meaning to share for quite some time. I got this idea from Pinterest, and it turned out just as great as I hoped. It was simple and fun to put together -  all made from paper lanterns I picked up at my local party store. The toughest part was affixing the caterpillar's eyes - the glue wouldn't hold. I ended up very carefully sewing them on. Oh... and the second toughest part was climbing up and down on a ladder and using fishing line to hang this up. I'm really happy with how The Very Hungry Caterpillar display turned out. I got lots of compliments on this one!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Citizenship Corner display

My library is partnering with the Department of Immigration to provide a "Citizenship Corner" with free materials on how to become a U.S. citizen. I helped a gentleman the other day who barely spoke English… he was looking for books on United States history. When I walked him over to the Citizenship Corner and gave him a free set of flashcards on the citizenship exam in Spanish, I thought he might cry with joy he was so happy! What a great feeling, connecting patrons to exactly what they want, even when they aren't sure how to ask for it.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Read in November

This month I read the following:

1. A Place Called Home: Creating Beautiful Spaces to Call Your Own - Jason Grant

picture credit:  Young Woman Reading

Friday, November 13, 2015

Book lover's problems

Hurrah - it's good old Levar Burton showcasing Problems Only Book Lovers Understand.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Read in October

This month I read the following:

1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - Marie Kondo

picture credit:  Portrait of a Reader - Emma Florence Henderson

Friday, October 30, 2015

Bumped review

by Megan McCafferty
Balzer + Bray
April 2011
Set in a dystopian near-future, everyone over 18 has become infertile and teens are highly paid for their ability to procreate. The invented slang quickly immerses you into the world: pregging, bumping, fertilicious, FunBumps, reproaesthetic, masSEX.

High-school student Melody is sitting pretty. With her excellent academic record, good health and great looks, she's scored an amazing contract with a couple who want her to carry a child for them. The only problem is that they've been a little too picky, trying to score the perfect young man to be the father, and Melody isn't pregnant yet, and it doesn't look like she will be anytime soon. In the meantime, Melody's long-lost twin sister Harmony shows up, much to Melody's hyperactive, talk a mile-a-minute fertility agent's dismay, who has crafted a sales pitch for Melody based on her uniqueness. Harmony is on the run from the conservative religious compound where she's been raised. Naturally, several instances of mistaken identity, with one twin being mistaken for the other occur and hijinks ensue.

Melody's friends crassly recommend that she take on her good friend Zen as her "everythingbut" - a friend you fool around with and do everything but what could lead to pregnancy. With yuppies paying so much for procreation and adoption services, and with such a heavy emphasis on eugenics, I was surprised that the teen couples were expected to "bump" in the bedroom, rather than being inseminated in a lab, where any birth defects or unpromising looking embryos could be weeded out at the outset.

I wondered why so many of the girls outside of the religious compound didn't want to keep their children. As Melody's best friend explains to her, she's having this child now, and selling the child to the highest bidder to secure a financial future for herself, so that one day, she'll be able to pay someone to do the same for her. However, if people knew that their only chance of becoming grandparents was to help support their daughters through a teen pregnancy, and raise the baby, surely they'd step-up and we'd see more multi-generational families, right? Melody's parents were shockingly heartless. What kind of monsters mortgage and re-mortgage their house, go on lavish vacations and shopping sprees on the chance of whoring out their daughter? 
While my heart went out to Melody, who despite all the pressure just doesn't feel ready to get pregnant, I found her sanctimonious Bible-spouting twin Harmony fairly unlikable, which was really shame. The chapters alternate between the two and I enjoyed the Harmony chapters much less.

With its bitingly satirical message, I would love to pair Megan McCafferty's Bumped with Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal and see how teens would react.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Zombie display

Yay! It's my favorite time of year... Halloween. Just to mix things up, I created a Halloween display of zombie-themed items for all ages. We included titles like:

Picture books:
Zombielina - Kristyn Crow
Zombie in Love - Kelly DiPuccio

Chapter books:
Zombie Chasers series - John Kloepfer
Stink and the Midnight Zombie Walk - Megan McDonald

Zom-B series - Darren Shan
Forest of Hands and Teeth - Carrie Ryan

The Walking Dead - Robert Kirkman
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Seth Grahame-Smith

The Encyclopedia of Survival Techniques - Alexander Stillwell
How to Make a Zombie: the Real Life (and Death) Science of Reanimation and Mind Control - Frank Swain 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Read in September

This month I read the following:

1. Born With Teeth - Kate Mulgrew

picture credit:  Portrait of a Reader - Pedro Francisco Lira Rencoret

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

One of those bloggers...

Agh! How did it happen? How did I become one of those bloggers. You know the sort. The kind of person who posts apologies for not posting more... followed by weeks or even months of silence and more posts promising to pick up the posting again soon.

All I can say is that the end of my maternity leave, I created plenty of posts, all set to auto-publish. Gradually... I've run out of material. Well, I've run out of things that are ready to go, I guess I should say. I still have plenty of ideas percolating. At least a few times a week, I think to myself, "I should write a blog post about that."

This little lady is keeping me very busy. And, I'm at a new job! Altogether, I find myself looking at my list of "rough draft" posts of book reviews that are looking increasingly dated and wondering if I just want to abandon my goals of posting so regularly for now. In years past, I've posted 3 times a week, and for one year, I even took up the challenge of posting something every single day. Looking ahead, I do have some good posts I'd like to share. But, I think I'm aiming for quality, not quantity, and so, I hope my blog readers will forgive me if those posts don't come like clockwork the way they used to.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Read in August 2015

This month I read the following books:

1. Oh No, She Didn't! The Top 100 Style Mistakes Women Make and How to Avoid Them- Clinton Kelly
2. Steve Jobs: Insanely Great - Jessie Hartland

picture credit:  old fashioned girl reading on ladder in library

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Picture book mini-reviews 38

What Floats in a Moat?
by Lynne Berry
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
July 2013

 Here is a rather lengthy picture book take on Archimede's bath. Archie the goat tries to float across a moat. For science! In rhyming text, Skinny the Chicken gains much weight from downing all the buttermilk in their efforts to get the barrel properly afloat. I liked the angry queen pig. The pen and ink and watercolor illustrations are reminiscent of William Steig's work. The story is appended with an author's note on water displacement.

I borrowed this book from the library.

That is Not a Good Idea!
by Mo Willems
Balzer + Bray
April 2013

Mo Willems has struck gold again with another very funny, action packed story. Where's the piano music for this take on an old black and white silent film? A trio of baby chicks repeat, "That is not a good idea!" as a sweet and silly goose is seemingly lured in by a unctuous fox. Similar in theme to Richard Waring's classic picture book Hungry Hen, children will love the fabulous surprise ending.

 I borrowed this book from the library.

No Fits, Nilson!
by Zachariah O'Hora
Dial Books
June 2013

Let's blame an imaginary friend for tantrums. Nilson is a charming gorilla, who sometimes causes his friend Amelia problems when he decides to go ape. I appreciated small details such as Amelia staring him down and repeating the words "banana ice cream" over and over. Tiny text emanates from her eyes, as she hypnotizes Nilson with the promise of a treat for good behavior. Any child who's ever struggled with self-control will relate to this humorous offering.

I borrowed this book from the library.

What Makes a Baby?
by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth
Triangle Square
May 2013

This matter of fact volume describes all the ways how modern-day babies are made. It's informative and welcoming for any and all kinds of families - gay, lesbian, adopted, conceived by IVF or surrogacy, etc. Very literal-minded little ones may struggle with the poetic license, "they swirl together in a special kind of dance... the egg tells the sperm all the stories it has to tell about the body it came from..." Bright neon illustrations of yellow, purple and green people are reminiscent of Todd Parr or Keith Haring's work. Highly recommended, as it gets across the message to a child that they are loved and appreciated for who they are with questions such as, "Who was happy that it was YOU who grew?" and "Who was waiting for you to be born?"

I borrowed this book from the library.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Picture book mini-reviews 37

Dig, Dogs, Dig
by James Horvath
Harper Collins
April 2013

Go, Dog, Go meets your favorite construction book in this entertaining rhyming picture book. The dogs living situation is a bit reminiscent of a firehouse - but these dogs are ready for some construction work instead. Even the lines such as, "Run, dogs, run!" and "Dig, dogs, dig!" reminded me of Go, Dog, Go. They uncover a dinosaur bone, while building a park that eventually the whole community can enjoy. Colorful digital illustrations with plenty of full-bleed pages are vibrant and appealing. Endpages feature a lineup of the dogs, each posed with their tools.

I borrowed this book from the library.

Soup Day
by Melissa Iwai
Henry Holt and Co.
April 2010

Multi-media collage illustrations depict a happy little girl's day and the soup she makes with her Mommy on a wintry day in the city. This is a nice multicultural family and plenty of concepts such as counting or shapes are included throughout. The story is appended with a recipe for soup.

I borrowed this book from the library.

Penguin on Vacation
by Salina Yoon
Walker Childrens
April 2013

Here is an adorable story about a penguin who gets tired of the cold and decides to head for warmer climes. In the tropics, he's no good at vacationing - the sunny beach is not the place for skiing, sledding and skating, like he's used to. Fortunately, he makes a new friend, a crab who is able to show him the ropes. Penguin returns the favor by hosting Crab when he comes to visit the Antarctic. Endpages feature crabs on a beach... and crabs bundled up for the snow. Colorful full-bleed pages featuring digital art with thick lines make the pictures easy to see from a distance. This is a natural pick for group story times.

I borrowed this book from the library.

Pirates vs. Cowboys
by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by David Barneda
Knopf Books for Young Readers
March 2013

In this wacky tale, pirates and cowboys have an unlikely showdown in a saloon in Old Cheeanne. Older children will enjoy the heavy use of vernacular from both the pirates and cowboys. Pegleg Highnoon is the only character who can speak both fluent Pirate and Cowboy - and finds the only thing they all really have in common is the need for a bath! The dialect is what makes this a favorite at storytime for me, especially with children old enough to get the sense of humor. Endpages feature pirate treasure maps and a map of the Old West.

I borrowed this book from the library.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Great Wall of Lucy Wu review

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu
by Wendy Wan-Long Shang
January 2011 

First line: "When I think back on it, I'd have to say that it all started with the Golden Lotus."

Chinese-American middle-schooler, Lucy Wu, is conflicted when her old-fashioned relative moves in... right into her bedroom. There are plenty of books out there about a put-upon kid who has to cope with sharing a room but this book succeeds in making all of the involved parties sympathetic and well-realized. Even though she's extremely short, Lucy has a passion for basketball, something her traditional (read: scholastics obsessed) parents simply don't understand.

Lucy's been
living under the oppressive perfection of her snotty older sister Regina for years and can't wait until Regina takes off for college so she can finally have her own room. Unfortunately, her plans are foiled when her parents inform her that her grandmother's long-lost sister from China will be coming to stay with them. Enraged, Lucy decides to erect a "wall" consisting of her bookcase, desk and bureau clearly demarking her space. As the year goes on, and her parents insist that she take Chinese language lessons (further cramping her schedule and endangering her ability to stay active on the basketball team.) Lucy really begins to grow frantic with the pressures that she's put under.

Lucy and her parents seem to be gearing up for an all out war. But, a sensitive, reasoned look at things eventually brings both sides closer together. 
I was heartened by Lucy's sincere concern about having her father leave on an extended business trip to China. She's quite ill at ease until he's safely home again. Lucy realizes that after school Chinese lessons turn out to be more fun than she thought. Lucy's mom comes to see that Regina has been far more insufferable than she had originally supposed, and sympathizes with how Lucy must feel about having her sixth grade school year turned topsy-turvy. And Lucy's great-aunt, although mostly silent throughout the book, also shows some spirit, not letting Lucy push her around, but realizing what a big adjustment this is for her, too. The Chinese phrases incorporated into the book add a lot, and this is a realistic middle-grade fiction with broad appeal - any kid who's ever felt academic pressure (and who hasn't these days?), sports fans, anyone who's ever had to measure up to an older sibling, or anyone who is interested in reading about how it feels to grow up in a multicultural environment will find that this book is a real winner.

Compare to:

Penny Dreadful - Laurel Snyder
The Whole Story of Half a Girl - Veera Hiranandani
The Star Maker - Laurence Yep
Happy Birthday, Sophie Hartley - Stephanie Greene

I borrowed this book from the library.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Read in July 2015

This month I read the following books:

1. I am Malala: How One Girl Stood up for Education and Changed the World - Malala Yousefzai

picture credit: Portrait of Charlotte Bronte

Friday, July 24, 2015

Picture book mini-reviews 36

Dino Bites!
by Craig Algy H
Boxer Books
March 2013

Simple, loud and funny, this story is a total triumph. One dinosaur chomps another in this food chain cumulative story, and all is well until, "The bite buzzed..." causing T-Rex to rather loudly "BUUURP!" the other dinos free again. Dino Bites has enormous kid appeal, large, colorful illustrations with bold dark outlines and a very simple text, sometimes only one word per page. This story is perfect for reading aloud to large groups.

I borrowed this book from the library.

Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?
by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier
Clarion Books
March 2013

A little green duck has lost his new blue socks, and searches high and low for them, asking everyone he meets if they've seen the erstwhile footwear in this rhyming tale. Having checked his box, his friend Fox, Mr. Ox and some peacocks, he goofily realizes... he's been wearing them this whole time. I loved the quirky hidden details such as Fox sitting down to eat a bowl of grapes and in Duck's messy house, presumably a baby picture of him as an egg.
Colorful pen, ink and watercolor illustrations hint at a Dr. Seuss-like sensibility. I highly recommend this not only as a read-aloud but for beginning readers as well.

I borrowed this book from the library.

That's Mine!
by Michael Van Zeveren
Gecko Press
January 2013

A frog, a snake, an eagle, a lizard and all fight over an egg they find in the jungle. After accidentally bonking an elephant on the head, all the animals are very quick to disavow their connection to the egg. When the egg finally hatches a baby crocodile, she knows exactly who to go to: the frog that originally found the egg. The ending is ambiguous enough, we weren't sure if the crocodile is planning to eat the frog, or simply claiming the frog as a parent. A funny translation from the French language original.

I borrowed this book from the library.

Steam Train, Dream Train
by Sherry Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Chronicle Books
April 2013

Here is a soothing bedtime train book all in rhyme. Oil pastels give a textured look to the illustrations. Zoo animals and a dinosaur load up their train with toys, balls, paint, ice cream, sand for sand boxes... a bit random, but in short, everything a boy could ever want. End pages feature engineer coverall stripes.

I borrowed this book from the library.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Happy Families review

Happy Families
by Tanita S. Davis
Knopf Books for Young Readers
May 2012

First line: "The surge of chattering, pointing, gawking people pours into the massive auditorium, and I feel a shiver crawl up my arms."

Twin high school freshman Ysabel and Justin Nicholas are leading perfectly normal, happy lives until they discover their father is hiding a secret. Ysabel is a talented artist, hoping to eventually get an art school scholarship with her glass bead designs, while her younger brother Justin is a straight-A student with his eye on the Ivy League and law school. In short, they are both high-achieving, intelligent kids and their father's secret truly turns their lives upside down.

When their grandfather discovers that the twins' father has been renting an apartment several hours away, initially the family suspects that the possibility of an affair with another woman. Nothing could have prepared them for the truth... their father has been living as a woman and is in the process of transitioning to her new identity as Christine.

This is a short little book, that covers a weighty topic in a unique way. Alternating chapters between the twins take you through their turmoil, surprise and hurt that their father isn't who they thought he was. The family suffers from the secrecy and a total lack of communication. As their parents work issues out in therapy, the teens are left in the dark about how this change will affect their lives. It's not until the end of the book, that their father tells them that they are not necessarily divorcing, that the twins won't have to change schools and so on. The whole family eventually makes their peace with the complicated situation. The book is appended with a glossary and guide to speaking respectfully about people who are transitioning to another gender.

Compare to:
Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom - Emily Franklin
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Saenz
The Miseducation of Cameron Post - Emily M. Danforth
Freak Show - James St. James

I borrowed this book from the library.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Cover Trend: Post-Its

Here's a trend I've noticed... covers with post-it notes on them. I could swear I remember more books with post-its on the cover than just these. Are there more titles that I've left out?

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things - Ann Aguirre
The Last Time We Say Goodbye - Cynthia Hand
The Boy Problem: Notes and Observations of Tabitha Ready - Kami Kinard
All the Bright Places - Jennifer Niven
Sarah Simpson's Rules for Living - Rebecca Rupp
Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze - Alan Silberberg

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Breathe review

by Sarah Crossan
October 2012

First line: "Breathing is a right not a privilege, so I'm stealing it back."

Alina, Quinn and Bea live in a world where oxygen is hard to come by. Many citizens live in safely protected domes, where oxygen is carefully controlled. The wealthy, known as Premiums, are able to afford more, of course, while poorer members of society known as Auxiliaries must move slowly and breathe cautiously in order not to run out.

Alina is working with a group of rebels who are hoping to use plants outside the domes to increase oxygen in the air. At the very least, they want to break down some of the unfair class structure that is currently rigidly enforced.

Bea is a lower class citizen. After she flunks the very challenging set of tests to be raised to a higher position, her parents are left to hope that she'll make a good marriage and raise the entire family's status so that they can all breathe easier.

Wealthy Quinn is up for a bit of adventure and he readily agrees to a camping trip on the outside of the dome.

The story features a love triangle between Alina, Bea and their love interest Quinn. Love triangles can frequently move a plot along with plenty of opportunity for conflict, but here, I just felt sorry for the two girls. Quinn is overcome by Alina's beauty, even though he's been best friends with Bea for ages. I enjoyed the alternating chapters format which pivots between the three main characters and their unique voices.

The lack of oxygen is fairly well-thought out - exercise becomes a privilege for the wealthy who are able to afford to get their heart rate up. Poorer people age faster and tire easier in the oxygen poor environment. Fans of dystopian will find a lot to like here: an oppressive government, citizens who are kept in the dark about what is really going on, brave teens who are ready to challenge the status quo, a love triangle and some daring chase scenes.

Compare to:
Under the Never Sky - Veronica Rossi
More Than This - Patrick Ness
The Pledge - Kimberly Derting

I borrowed this book from the library.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Picture book mini-reviews 35

Jasper and Joop
by Olivier Dunrea
HMH Books for Young Readers
March 2013

Simple sentences compare and contrast neat, Felix Unger type Jasper with his best friend, a slovenly Oscar Maddix type. Illustrations make clear that even when they say the same thing, their reactions are opposite. For example, "Jasper jumps over the puddle. 'Too wet,' he says." readers see Jasper smartly hopping over the puddle with nary a feather out of place. "Joop splashes into the puddle. 'TOO wet!' he honks." with his wings and legs akimbo, gleefully splashing about. A nice gentle adventure for young readers, the book's small size is perfect for tiny hands.

I borrowed this book from the library.

Bye-Bye Baby Brother!
by Sheena Dempsey
Candlewick Press
April 2013

This story takes sibling jealousy head on with a British sensibility. Ruby is sick of her little brother Oliver taking up all of her mother's time. Playing with the dog, Rory, isn't enough to distract her. She dreams up ways to get rid of Oliver even imagining a "Yard Sale. A nice squashy baby in full working order. A bit noisy, but quiets down when given some brown mush to eat. 50c Good Price." After finally getting some quality time with mom, once Oliver's been fed, they pretend to go to the moon, and Ruby gets a story read to her. After the baby is finally put down for a nap, Ruby decides that maybe the baby isn't so bad after all. Endpages feature cute baby toys. This book offers a tender and sweet story for any growing family. 

I borrowed this book from the library.

Peace, Baby!
Linda Ashman
Chronicle Books
May 2013

A diverse group of kids in a wide variety of situations each find something to fight about, but resolve things with the repeating phrase, "Peace, baby." This is a great conflict resolution book to add to your library. Light but colorful digital illustrations retain the feel of pen and ink. Celebratory banners decorate the endpages.

I borrowed this book from the library.

I Dreamt...: A Book About Hope
by Gabriela Olmos, translated by Elisa Amado
Groundwood Books
April 2013

Strong anti-violence/anti-war message in this book, created in collaboration with Mexican artists. Red endpapers feature dried dandelion puffs (as if to make a wish for peace.) A fairly heavy message, which gets a bit dark at times, "I dreamt of pistols that shoot butterflies... and of drug lords who only sell soap bubbles." Varying typefaces in different sizes and colors lend emphasis to the poetic dream images and unite the diverse artistic styles employed. Profits from this book will go to the International Board on Books for Young People for Children in Crisis.

I borrowed this book from the library.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Linger review

by Maggie Stiefvater
July 2010

First line: "This is the story of a boy who used to be a wolf and a girl who was becoming one."

This sequel to Shiver continues with Grace enjoying her relationship with Sam, newly cured of his lycanthropy, while Grace's best friend Isabel still grieves over the recent death of her brother. Sam is struggling to deal with the permanence of his new situation, while still worrying over which of his wolf "family" will return to human form in the spring. In the meantime, a few of the new wolves that Sam's adoptive dad Beck recently created are having troubles. Recovering addict and famous rocker Cole is angry that his wolf change doesn't seem to be sticking... he'd been hoping to escape his human life by turning wolf. Cole's friend Victor, unwittingly turned wolf, seems to be having trouble staying in one form.

Sam is, in every way, the perfect boyfriend... sensitive, poetic, genuinely thoughtful, undemanding. There is some tension as he's been sneaking into Grace's bedroom every night, not for prurient reasons, but just to snuggle. It isn't explicitly said, but implied, that despite their attraction, their frequent kisses and and despite their absolute rightness for each other, Grace and Sam are probably still virgins. When Grace's parents discover him in their daughter's bed they react with feelings of hurt and rage. They promptly assume the worst and ban Sam from their household, letting Grace know in no uncertain terms how disappointed they are in her. In the meantime, Grace and Sam both feel strongly that they want to get married. I thought this was interesting, because it's plenty common for high school girls to fantasize about marrying their boyfriend... but I'm not sure if young men usually harbor those same thoughts.  Grace, predictably, feels embittered that her neglectful parents choose to get involved in her life at this late date.

Grace, and to some extent, Sam, become desperate and emotional during their enforced separation. With Grace's 18th birthday only a few months away, they have very little to lose by simply lying low and waiting a little while until they can be together, even without Grace's parents blessing. However, they both feel the pain of separation keenly, and unable to bear even a few days without him, Grace runs away to stay with Sam at Beck's place at the edge of the woods.

Linger adds the viewpoints of Cole and Isabel, who play counterpoint to Grace and Sam.  While it's clear that Grace and Sam are meant to be, together forever, soulmates; Cole and Isabel, on the other hand, have a purely animal attraction, lending a dangerous feel to most of their interactions.  Cole questions the whole premise that the change to wolf is caused by cold temperatures... he sees too many exceptions to the rule.

Heavy foreshadowing with Grace's exposure to a werewolf bite as a girl made the ending totally predictable, but surprisingly I didn't mind.  Even though I knew, pretty much from the second page, where the book was going, I still enjoyed the journey.

Compare to:

Sisters Red - Jackson Pearce
Vesper - Jeff Sampson
Nightshade - Andrea Cremer
The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group - Catherine Jenks

I borrowed this book from the library.

Friday, July 3, 2015

ALA recaps 2015

I didn't go to the American Library Association's Annual Conference in San Francisco this year, much as I might have liked to. I lived in San Francisco for a brief while (and worked in the TransAmerica Pyramid!) and have always enjoyed going back for visits. But, I've done the next best thing, and read up on other conference-goers experiences there.

Travis Jonker at 100 Scope Notes gives a three-part wrap-up. One, two and three.

The ALSC blog is a treasure trove of conference related posts.

Abby Johnson at Abby the Librarian shares her experiences, especially the Newbery Caldecott banquet.

Paul Signorelli at Building Creative Bridges talks about the warmly supportive and hug-worthy excitement being in San Francisco during Pride Week, as the historic Supreme Court decision on gay marriages was released and has more resources for those who are #alaleftbehind.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Read in June 2015

This month I read the following books:

1. Devoted - Jennifer Mathieu
2. Ares: Bringer of War - George O'Connor
3. Rebel Mechanics - Shanna Swendson
4. School for Sidekicks - Kelly McCullough

picture credit:  Literary Pursuits of a Young Lady Alexei Alexeivich Harlamoff

Friday, June 26, 2015

Culling the TBR - Summer 2015

About twice a year, I like to give my "To Be Read" list a go-over and delete any books that I'm probably giving up on. Currently, I've got 435 books on my list of things to read. It's not the longest it's ever been, but at this rate, even if I read a book every day, I'd never get caught up. So, here are a few that I'm culling from the herd, so to speak. Is there anything great in here that I should definitely add back in?

The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1)
The One and Only Ivan
Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends, #1)
Everbound (Everneath, #2)
The Stepsister's Tale
Jennifer Government
Anything But Typical
Also Known As (Also Known As, #1)
Glimmerglass (Faeriewalker, #1)
No Place to Fall
Thousand Words
Star Crossed (Thief Errant, #1)
Kat, Incorrigible (Kat, Incorrigible, #1)
Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)
Rose Sees Red
The Testing (The Testing, #1)
So Much Closer
Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles, #1)
Seriously Wicked
Ironskin (Ironskin, #1)
Flying Blind (The Dragon Diaries, #1)
Tumble & Fall
The Inventor's Secret (The Inventor's Secret, #1)
Hidden (Avena, #1)
Mistwood (Mistwood, #1)
The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale
Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)
The Taking (The Taking, #1)
The Essence (The Pledge, #2)
Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists
Plus One
Gilded (Gilded, #1)
The Girl Who Could Fly
Falls the Shadow
Triple Shot Bettys in Love (Triple Shot Bettys, #2)
A Tale Dark & Grimm (A Tale Dark & Grimm, #1)
Amelia Rules! Volume 1: The Whole World's Crazy (Amelia Rules! #1)
But I Love Him
The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre
Gone (Gone, #1)
The Lost Sun (The United States of Asgard, #1)
The Walled City
A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)
Spellcaster (Spellcaster, #1)
Half Bad (Half Life, #1)
Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1)
When We Wake (When We Wake, #1)
The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart (Magic Most Foul, #2)
Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1)
Erasing Time (Erasing Time, #1)
Strawberry Hill
Cruel Beauty
The Lipstick Laws
Splintered (Splintered, #1)
Marked (Mindspace Investigations, #3)
The Summer Prince
Talon (Talon, #1)
Truth (XVI, #2)
A Midsummer's Nightmare
The Queen's Choice (Heirs of Chrior, #1)
Shadows Cast By Stars
Blood Red (Elemental Masters, #10)
Sword of Ice and Other Tales of Valdemar (Tales of Valdemar #1)
Ivy's Ever After
Vixen (Flappers, #1)
Defy (Defy, #1)
A Tale of Two Castles (A Tale of Two Castles, #1)
The Two Princesses of Bamarre
A Girl Called Fearless (A Girl Called Fearless, #1)
Tempestuous (Wondrous Strange, #3)
The Fire Wish (The Jinni Wars, #1)
September Girls
Shards and Ashes
Made For You
Crash (Visions, #1)
Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X, #1)
The Eternal Ones (Eternal Ones, #1)
The Springsweet (The Vespertine, #2)
Oath of Fealty (Paladin's Legacy, #1)
The Watcher in the Shadows (Inquisitor's Apprentice #2)
Being Sloane Jacobs
The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate
Dark Aemilia: A Novel of Shakespeare's Dark Lady
Twenty Boy Summer
Prophecy (The Dragon King Chronicles, #1)
Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1)
Gated (Gated, #1)
The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1)
The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future
Enders (Starters, #2)
My Fair Godmother (My Fair Godmother, #1)
Revolution 19 (Revolution 19, #1)
Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2)
The Hedgewitch Queen (Romances of Arquitaine, #1 )
Hook's Revenge (Hook's Revenge, #1)
Far From You
I'll Be There
The Reece Malcolm List
The Cup and the Crown (Silver Bowl, #2)
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #2)
The Accidental Highwayman: Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, a Mysterious Princess, and Sundry Magical Persons Besides (Adventures of Kit Bristol, #1)
 The Time-Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette
Moon Over Manifest
Lulu Walks the Dogs
Partials (The Partials Sequence, #1)
Illusions of Fate
Mind Games (Mind Games, #1)
The Chaos of Stars
Blood (Mercian Trilogy #1)
Twinmaker (Twinmaker, #1)
One Crazy Summer (Gaither Sisters, #1)
Robopocalypse (Robopocalypse, #1)


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