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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow day read


Snow day today! Celebrating that by reading Lean Mean Thirteen. I've already laughed out loud several times--this is probably my favorite series. I love Stephanie and the gang!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

CR: People of the Book

CR: People of the Book

Hanna is a book conversationist. She is called in to assess a newly found sacred book. She is in a war-torn country and meets a library director, the man who saved this important text. She's intrigued by him because he seems an unlikely action hero. I'm only about 30 pages in but I'm liking it so far. Good writing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

JF: Before I Die (YA) (3.5/5)


JF: Before I Die (YA) (3.5/5)

Tessa has leukemia and is dying. She's only 15 years old. Tess is on an emotional roller coaster, as is her family and friends. I felt sorry for Tess but there were times when I thought she was annoying and I wasn't too thrilled with her. I really liked the character of Tess's father--he was a great dad to her and a great support network for her. I thought this book was a bit slow at first but it did get better as it went on.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Emma

This is my Jack Russell, Emma. She is named after the Jane Austen character. Emma has a bit of an issue--she lives with 6 cats and feels she is a cat and therefore hates dogs.

CR: Bitten

CR: Bitten
Elena was bitten by a werewolf, which made her instantly become a werewolf. Most die from a bite. Elena is now caught between two worlds: the human world and the world of the pack. She tries to live in the human world but Jeremy, the Alpha wolf, calls her back when a rogue wolf begins killing humans on their home turf.

This is the first in a paranormal series. I've heard good thing about this author and series. I'm about 100 pages in and enjoying it so far.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Before I Die (YA)


CR: Before I Die (YA)

The main character is a teenage dying of cancer. She decides to make a list of things to do before she dies. She is on an emotional roller coaster. I'm about a 1/3 of the way through--good so far.

CR: Before I Die (YA)

Monday, January 19, 2009

JF: The Darcys and the Bingleys (5/5)


JF: The Darcys and the Bingleys (5/5)

This book is a continuation of one of my favorite novels, Pride and Prejudice. No pressure there, right? But this book delivers and I enjoyed it immensely. The sequel stays true to the characterizations in the Austen novel and it is nice to see where the Darcys and the Bingleys ended up after marrying.

This book has romance, action and mystery. It is written in a style that would make Austen proud. It is very well done.

JF: Story of a Girl (YA) (5/5)


JF: Story of a Girl (YA) (5/5)

This was a good, quick read though I am beginning to wonder if it is a prerequisite for all realistic fiction to feature a girl with the reputation as a slut, even though she really isn't one.

Deanna was found, as an 8th grader, by her father having sex with her older brother's best friend. That moment shaped her life--the boy, Tommy, told the story and Deanna earned a reputation for being a slut. Deanna's father couldn't really look at her the same way after that and Deanna's brother became over protective. Deanna hasn't had sex since (3 years) but she is daily fighting the way that people perceive her.

What sets this book apart from the typical "girl with a bad reputation" book is the characters. They are well developed and readers will care about them. Deanna is a character you feel for, seeing how her reputation has ruined her self-esteem. Her older brother, Darren, dealing with being a father as a teenager, still has time to check on her and keep tabs on her. Deanna's boss, Michael, is a good friend to her.

Girls especially will get into this book. It is gritty but ends on a positive note. I gave it a 5/5.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

JF: Thirteen Reasons Why (YA) (4.5/5)


JF: Thirteen Reasons Why (YA) (4.5/5)

Hannah, a HS student, committed suicide. No one was really sure why. Until the tapes came. . .

Hannah made tapes detailing the reasons why, and the people responsible for, her suicide. This is harsh teenage reality--rumors hurting reputations, drinking, rape. This is not a happy book but it is extremely powerful. How does someone feel so alone? How could no one notice her state of mind? This is unfortunately a very real book. Teenagers will totally be hooked into the book--I was.

Friday, January 16, 2009

CR: Thirteen Reasons Why (YA)


CR: Thirteen Reasons Why (YA)

Hannah committed suicide. Prior to that, she made tapes detailing the wrongs that 13 people did to her. She tells them to pass the tapes along to the next person. This is gritty realistic fiction. It is disturbing what teens do to other teens. I can totally see HS students loving this book.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Max


This is Max, almost 3 year old seal point, mitted Ragdoll. Max was my first kitten and what a wake up call he was :-) I called him the kitten from hell until I got Maggie. Max is good at tormenting the older cats, being the "alpha male" of the house, eating and, as seen here, sleeping in my husband's recliner. I call him "handsome" and he is.

JF: Vladimir Tod (YA) (4.5/5)


JF: Vladimir Tod (YA) (4.5/5)

This is the first in a series about an 8th grade boy who is half-human, half-vampire. Vlad is being hunted by vampires who think he has betrayed their secret existence. Good action, good mystery (who can Vlad trust?) and good humor. I enjoyed this book. Boys especially can get into this series. This was a good, quick read and reluctant readers would like it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

CR: Vladmir Tod (YA)


CR: Vladmir Tod (YA)

I gave up on Go Big or Go Home last night. . . I just couldn't get into it but I could see where MS/HS boys would like it.

So I moved back to Vladmir Tod, borrowed from my friend Lori. Vladmir is an 8th grade student who happens to be a vampire. His best friend, Henry, knows and is ok with it. Vlad's aunt works at a hospital which allows him easy access to blood.

Vlad's teacher goes missing and the long-term sub in for him seems to be hitting too close to home for Vlad's liking while the students study a mythological creatures unit. Does the sub know more than he is saying?

I'm about halfway through and am enjoying it so far. It's a quick, easy read.

Monday, January 12, 2009

CR: Go Big or Go Home (YA)

CR: Go Big or Go Home (YA)

A meteorite lands in the bedroom of a teenage boy. He and his cousin are thrill seekers, usually on their bicycles, so he immediately calls his cousin and has him come and check out where the meteor hit. I'm only about 40 pages in and it hasn't really grabbed me yet. Hope it does soon since it's only 185 pages or so total.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

JF: Feathers (YA) (4/5)


JF: Feathers (YA) (4/5)

This book was somewhat different than Woodson's usual books. It seemed more hopeful and optimistic. It's 1971, Frannie is 11 years old and a new boy transfers into her class. He is the only white boy in a class of black students. The kids think that he is Jesus. Frannie has a deaf brother named Sean. I think that Sean is a positive role model for disabled people. He is a positive, strong character. This book would be a good read aloud for upper elementary grades and a good independent read for middle school students.

JF: Such a Pretty Girl (YA) (5/5)

JF: Such a Pretty Girl (YA) (5/5)

This is a tough book to read. Meredith was sexually abused by her father, along with some neighborhood children. He was sentenced to nine years in prison but was released in three. Meredith has to deal with his return home and his desire to return to his bad habits. A very gritty but powerful novel, teens would definitely want to read this. This book has to be discussed however. It has too much realism to not be.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

JF: One Good Punch (YA) (4/5)


JF: One Good Punch (YA) (4/5)

Michael is a HS senior and decent track athlete. His friend Joey puts a few joints in his locker and a weekend drug sweep of the school lands Michael in hot water. He needs to decide whether to take responsibility for asking Joey for the joints or turn in Joey to take some of the heat off of himself. A very quick read and a good boy book, especially for reluctant readers.

Friday, January 9, 2009

CR: Lean Mean Thirteen


CR: Lean Mean Thirteen

Stephanie Plum is a not so good bounty hunter, connected to two men: Joe Morelli and Ranger, and having issues that women can totally relate to. This has to be my favorite series; I usually laugh out loud. A great cast of secondary characters, my favorites are Lula and Stephanie's grandmother. I love this series.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gizmo


Keeping with today's cat theme, this is Gizmo. He is one of my Ragdoll cats. He is a snuggle puss and will run from anywhere in the house to me when I yell "Giz, you want to snuggle snuggle?" He is a very mellow cat.

JF: Dewey (5/5)


JF: Dewey (5/5)

This book is about Dewey Readmore Books, a cat who as a kitten was found shivering in the drop off book box at a library in Iowa. He was adopted by the library staff and became the library's, and ultimately, the town's cat. Dewey greeted library patrons, helped shelf books and make the library a friendly place. The number of people visiting the library shot through the roof, and Dewey became a worldwide sensation. Even though I knew how it ended, I cried like a baby. This was a great read!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

JF: The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl (YA) (4.5/5)

JF: The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl (YA) (4.5/5)

This book tells the story of a lonely, somewhat geeky HS boy who is interested in creating a graphic novel. He meets Kyra, a goth girl with some issues. He begins to crush on her and she also teaches him some things about the world. A lot of humor in this book and it is a good piece of ya realistic fiction.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

CR: The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl (YA)


CR: The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl

I am reading this book for my ya literature class--the genre this month is realistic fiction. Fanboy is a HS student who loves graphic novels. He doesn't really have many friends in high school. Goth Girl contacts him after seeing him get hit repeatedly during a dodge ball game in PE class. She wants to know why he doesn't do something to stop the bullying.

I'm about halfway through the book and Goth Girl has a slightly dark and violent bent that I'm wondering about. There is a lot of humor in this book which I am liking. I could see both HS boys and girls enjoying this book.

Monday, January 5, 2009

CR: How Nancy Drew Saved My Life


This is my current read. I started it yesterday. Chick lit is my comfort genre. This author used to be a member of one of my online book groups and she is very nice. I enjoyed her book The Thin Pink Line.

This book tells the story of an unemployed nanny heading to Iceland for a new job. She has decided to read all the books in the Nancy Drew series and realizes that Nancy is quite the resourceful woman.

So far, I am enjoying it. A lot of humor.

CR: How Nancy Drew Saved My Life

Sunday, January 4, 2009

JF: Safe (YA) (5/5)


Good realistic fiction about a girl who is raped at age 13 and is trying to put herself back together again. This book shows how she tries to cut herself off from her friends because she feels dirty and thinks she needs to be by herself to heal. This could be a powerful book to certain readers. Shaw's a good realistic fiction author; her book The Boy in the Basement was chilling. I gave this book a 5/5.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

JF: Peeled (YA) 4.5/5


JF: Peeled (YA) (4.5/5)

Small, apple growing town is gaining fame for having a haunted house. Is it legit or are sinister forces at work behind the scenes? Hildy, a HS newspaper journalist, vows to find out. She begins to look into the mysterious happenings in her small hometown. Good action/mystery to keep readers hooked. Joan Bauer is a well-known ya author and this book does not disappoint.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Maggie


People have asked for more cat pictures so here you go. This is Maggie, my 8 month old Savannah. She is named after the character from the play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" because the first night we got her all she did was jump around and we couldn't even really hold her. She is a wild girl, full of kitty energy! She is a sweetheart though.

Dead Until Dark


I finished Dead Until Dark last night and loved this book. This is the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. Sookie is a southern waitress who has the ability to read people's minds. She meets Bill, the new to town vampire, and they begin dating. She is happy that she can't read his thoughts. There are murders happening in town and the people are suspicious of the vampires. Great book--I will be reading more of this series!

JF: Dead Until Dark (5/5)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Dead Until Dark

I am about 150 pages into this book and am loving it. Last night I watched a bunch of the True Blood episodes back to back and am enjoying them more now that I've read some of the book.