From that time on, the world was hers for the reading....

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

Despite her musical name,
my sister gives little thought
to the sounds that come out of her mouth.
She doesn't seem to understand
that words can serve as a bomb or a balm
and all too often Melody
chooses to hurt instead of heal.
~ Megan McCafferty (Bumped)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Libba Bray: Beauty Queens

People are always telling me I should read Libba Bray novels. When I saw Beauty Queens at my local library, I decided to give her a chance. The book sounded fun, so I couldn't wait to start reading!

The premise is simple: a plane filled with Miss Teen Dream beauty pageant contestants crashes, leaving them stranded on a deserted island.

What happens next isn't so simple. The girls, most very spoiled and self-absorbed, have to find a way to survive with very little food, water, basic necessities, or (GASP!) lip gloss and fancy clothes.

In short, they have to fend for themselves. And they do! (Between practicing for the pageant, of course. Priorities!) They become resourceful. They break away from the roles they've been forced to play by their parents and society in general to let their true selves shine. They deal with death and the dangers of the jungle (huge snakes, much?). They learn how to work together as a team. They become real friends.

It's all very RAWR! Girl Power!

Then it gets bogged down with silly things like overbearing footnotes, ridiculous commercial breaks, a hidden corporation compound, some sort of deal with a greedy dictator, and reality show pirates. Honestly, I skimmed most of that stuff. Well, except the pirates. Because, hello! Who doesn't love hot pirates?

Still, I liked the basic story of girl power and survival. I laughed out loud at the attacks on pop culture (no one's safe, not even boybands). I rolled my eyes at the absolute absurdity of it all.

While it wasn't the best book I've ever read, Beauty Queens was a satirical and stylish romp through the jungle.

For more information on Libba Bray, visit:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Must Read: Possession

I sort of have this obsession with dystopian novels. It all started when I read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood in my Women in Literature class during college. Needless to say, I'm thrilled that it's becoming a YA trend. And Possession by Elana Johnson (out now) sounds like a good read.
Vi knows the Rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn…and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them….starting by brainwashed Zenn. Vi can’t leave Zenn in the Thinkers’ hands, but she’s wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous: everything Zenn’s not. Vi can’t quite trust Jag and can’t quite resist him, but she also can’t give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

For more information on  Elana Johnson and Possession, visit:
Stephanie Kuehnert's Women Who Rock Wednesday interview with Elana

Monday, June 27, 2011

Jen Lancaster: If You Were Here

"Do you read Jen Lancaster books?" a message board friend asked.

"No, why?" was my response.

"Well, the way you respond to messages here reminds me of her writing," she explained.

I didn't think much about it until last month when I read a review of her new novel, If You Were Here, in The Roanoke Times. Everything about this book sounded perfect. To quote my dad, "This book was made for  you." Needless to say, I literally did a happy dance when I saw the title pop up in my local library's new book database and made a mad dash out the door to snatch it up before someone else did. I had to read this book.

Mia writes Amish teen romance novels. Sounds pretty boring, right? No way! Her Amish teens are also ZOMBIES! That alone would have made this a great book. But it gets better. So. Much. Better.

She and her husband Mac are on the lookout for a new house, their first house. Their current living situation isn't the greatest. How would you like waking up to graffiti threats every morning? So they decide to move to the Chicago suburbs, an area made famous by the John Hughes films that Mia loved so much as a child.

Once they find their perfect house--Jake Ryan's house from "Sixteen Candles"!--the adventure begins. The house needs work. A lot of work. And the renovations aren't going so great. In fact, they're downright hellish (and expensive).

And if that weren't enough, their neighbors don't like them at all. Instead of welcoming them to the neighborhood with gift baskets and baked goods, they're signing petitions, knocking on the door complaining about everything, and threatening legal action.

With Mac taking on the do-it-yourself renovations and Mia trying to meet a deadline with her publisher, things get a little tense and not only test their nerves, but their marriage.

If You Were Here is the funniest book I've read in a LONG time. I loved everything about it. Mia was quirky. Mac was loyal. They were an adorable couple. The supporting cast of characters was eclectic and fun. The footnotes and pop culture references sprinkled throughout the book were hilarious. But most of all, I loved the nod to John Hughes. I grew up watching his movies and will forever drop everything I'm doing to watch "Sixteen Candles" if I see that it's on TV.

I highly recommend this book!

For more information on Jen Lancaster, visit:

John Mayer Appreciation Day

Today has been dubbed "John Mayer Appreciation Day" by his online fans. I am one of those fans, so I wanted to take a moment to thank him for the amazing music that has gotten me through so much, the fun concerts that brought unparalleled adventure and entertainment to my life, and the meet & greet I'll always think about and smile.

To tie this in with my book blog, I leave you with the following quote:

"I have a theory that the answers
to all of life's major questions
can be found in a John Mayer song."
~ Susane Colasanti (Waiting For You)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday


Cupcake photo courtesy of Flour and Sun Bakery via The Cupcake Blog.

Today is my two-year blogaversary! I'm throwing confetti and sending virtual cupcakes to everyone.

I've had so much fun with this blog and look forward to another year. I wouldn't be here without all of the amazing authors and books who have provided me with joy, adventures, an escape, and entertainment. I'm also grateful for libraries and the incredible blogging community that has always been so warm and welcoming.

Thanks for writing.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Books

To be in possession of new books is a rarity, which is why it brings me so much joy. I'm giddy. The hard part? Deciding what to read first. =)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Five: Books & TV

Hockey season ended Wednesday night (Congratulations, Boston Bruins!), putting an end to all fall/winter sports. Now it's time to settle into the hot, muggy days of summer and baseball season. Due to the nature of baseball--a game that, much like the season in which it is played, moves along at a slow, labored pace--I get a lot of reading done during games. When my team's not up to bat, I read. When they make pitching changes, I read. When they make visits to the mound, I read. Reading makes me feel a little less guilty about spending lazy summer days watching long baseball games, which could last anywhere from 3 to 5 hours.

While I was thinking about books and TV yesterday, I thought about TV shows I enjoy that are based on books or feature authors. This Friday Five post is devoted books and authors on TV.

Castle (ABC) is an hour-long drama that follows mystery novelist Richard Castle. After killing off the main character from his best-selling series, he's got a bit of writer's block. A call from the NYPD asking him to help solve a string of murders that seem to copycat those in his novels, leads him to his new muse--Detective Kate Beckett. Using his connections at the mayor's office, Castle gets permission to accompany Beckett to crime scenes and observe her investigations. Their escapades inspire a new character (Nikki Heat) and a brand new series. Castle is one of the best-written, smartest shows on television. The cast is brilliant. The chemistry between Castle and Beckett is explosive. And the show even spawned two novels, Heat Wave and Naked Heat. Even better? Real-life writers (Stephen J. Cannell, James Patterson, Dennis Lehane, and Michael Connelly) occasionally make appearances as Richard Castle's poker buddies.

Bones (Fox) is an hour-long drama loosely based on the life of author and forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs. The show's title character, Temperance Brennan, is named after the protagonist of Reichs' crime novel series. Just like Reichs, Temperance is a forensic anthropologist and best-selling author. The show is clever, sometimes gross, and always entertaining.

Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family) is based on the best-selling series of young adult novels by Sara Shepard, which follows best friends Spencer, Hanna, Aria, and Emily. Their clique sort of fell apart after the disappearance of their friend Alison. But then they start receiving startling messages from someone called "A," who knows all of their secrets and threatens to expose them. Trying to figure out who "A" is and what exactly happened to Alison brings them closer together. The books were such a guilty pleasure of mine. I devoured them last summer. And, while the TV show is vastly different from the novels, it has slowly become a guilty pleasure as well.

The Lying  Game (ABC Family) premieres August 15 and is based on the novel by Sara Shepard.  The show follows Emma, a kind-hearted foster kid who learns she has an identical twin sister, Sutton. Sutton, unlike Emma, was adopted by wealthy parents and is seemingly living an ideal life. After their initial meeting, Sutton talks Emma into stepping into her life for a few days while she pursues a lead on the mysterious identity of their birth mother. After Sutton inexplicably fails to return to the girls’ designated meeting place, Emma must decide whether to come clean about her identity and risk her own safety in the hope of uncovering her twin sister's whereabouts, along with the truth about why they were separated in the first place. If it's half as addictive as Pretty Little Liars, it's going to be SO GOOD!

The Nine Lives of Chloe King (ABC Family) is an hour-long drama that just premiered this week. Based on the books by Celia Thomson, the series follows teenage protagonist Chloe King as she starts developing heightened abilities and discovers she's being pursued by a mysterious figure. If that wasn't strange enough, she learns she's part of an ancient race which has been hunted by human assassins for millennia--and that she may be their only hope for ultimate survival. Intense! I haven't read the books yet, but the show has got me hooked!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

Banner created by roxicons @ Live Journal / Text added by me
"The one who tells the story
gets to say who's bad and who's good.
Then the story rises up
and puts on its clothes and
goes out into the world."
~ Minrose Gwin (The Queen of Palmyra)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gallagher Girls 5 & Live Chat

Mark your calendars! Yesterday, Ally Carter revealed on her blog that the 5th book in the Gallagher Girls series will be published on March 20, 2012. I know I can't wait!

In addition, she'll be doing a live chat with readers at the Official Gallagher Girls Facebook page on Thursday, June 16th at 6 p.m. Eastern. So get your questions ready!

CLICK HERE to visit the Official Gallagher Girls Facebook Page.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Coming Soon!

Check out just a few of the books hitting shelves next week. I'm excited!

I'm a big fan of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, so you know I can't wait to read Smokin' Seventeen.

Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and no one knows this better than New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum.

Dead bodies are showing up in shallow graves on the empty construction lot of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. No one is sure who the killer is, or why the victims have been offed, but what is clear is that Stephanie’s name is on the killer’s list.

Short on time to find evidence proving the killer’s identity, Stephanie faces further complications when her family and friends decide that it’s time for her to choose between her longtime off-again-on-again boyfriend, Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and the bad boy in her life, security expert Ranger. Stephanie’s mom is encouraging Stephanie to dump them both and choose a former high school football star who’s just returned to town. Stephanie’s sidekick, Lula, is encouraging Stephanie to have a red-hot boudoir “bake-off.” And Grandma Bella, Morelli’s old-world grandmother, is encouraging Stephanie to move to a new state when she puts “the eye” on Stephanie.

With a cold-blooded killer after her, a handful of hot men, and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie’s life looks like it’s about to go up in smoke.

I loved Ally Carter's Heist Society (check out my review HERE) and can't wait to find out what happens in Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society Series #2)

Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life: Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long — and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous, and that is . . . the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all, she has her best friend — the gorgeous Hale — and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses and realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

I've been wanting to read a good witch book and Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family Book Series #1) by Melissa de la Cruz might be just what I'm looking for.

From the author of the highly addictive and bestselling Blue Bloods series, with almost 3 million copies sold, comes a new novel, Melissa de la Cruz's first for adults, featuring a family of formidable and beguiling witches.

The three Beauchamp women--Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid--live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret--they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there's Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.

For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it's time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.

With a brand-new cast of characters, a fascinating and fresh world to discover, and a few surprise appearances from some of the Blue Blood fan favorites, this is a page-turning, deliciously fun, magical summer read fraught with love affairs, witchcraft, and an unforgettable battle between good and evil.

I've been hearing great things about A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young.

We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be forgotten.

Charlotte's best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she's cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what's really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become—her mark on this earth, her very existence—is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.

Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny—no matter how dark the consequences?

What new releases are you looking forward to?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Must Love Claire Cook

I've loved Claire Cook's writing ever since I picked up a copy of Must Love Dogs. My library doesn't carry her books, but I'm begging them to get her two latest, Seven Year Switch (now available in paperback) and Best Staged Plans (published June 7).

Just when she's finally figured out how to manage on her own, Jill Murray's ex-husband, Seth, is back crashing into the man-free existence Jill and her ten-year-old daughter, Anastasia, have built so carefully. Jill's life just hasn't turned out quite the way she'd planned. By now, she'd hoped to be jetting around the world as a high-end cultural coach. Instead, she's answering phones for a local travel agency and teaching cooking classes at the community center. Enter free-spirited entrepreneur Billy who hires Jill as a consultant for an upcoming business trip. Suddenly, her no-boys-allowed life is anything but.

They say that every seven years you become a completely new person, but Jill isn't sure she's ready to make the leap. It takes a Costa Rican getaway to help her make a choice not so much between the two men in her life, but between the woman she is and the woman she wants to be.

As a professional home stager, Sandy Sullivan is an expert at transforming cluttered rooms into attractive houses ready for sale. If only reinventing her life were as easy as choosing the perfect paint color. She's eager to put her family's suburban Boston home on the market, to downsize, and to simplify her own life. But she must first deal with her foot-dragging husband and her grown son, who has moved back home after college to inhabit the basement "bat cave."

After reading them the riot act, Sandy takes a job staging a boutique hotel in Atlanta recently acquired by her best friend's boyfriend. The good news is that she can spend time with her recently married daughter, Shannon, in Atlanta. The bad news is that Shannon finds herself heading to Boston for job training, leaving Sandy and her southern son-in-law, Chance, as reluctant roommates. If that's not complicated enough, Sandy begins to suspect that her best friend's boyfriend may be seeing another woman on the side.

Filled with characters who are fresh and original, yet recognizable enough to live in your neighborhood plus plenty of great tips and tricks for fixing up houses, and lives this is a wise and witty story of letting go and moving on.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Five with Alison Pace

A Pug's Tale by Alison Pace is in stores now! If you missed my review, you can check it out HERE.

Alison was very kind and answered questions for this week's Friday Five feature.

1. In A PUG'S TALE, Hope McNeill works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. What's your favorite museum and why? 

That's it: The Met. Because it's beautiful and grand and magnificent, and awe-inspiring. And actually, novel-inspiring, too.

2. If you could visit any museum in the world, where would you go and what work of art would you want to see there? 

I think I'd like to go to the Guggenheim Bilbao. The work of art I'd want to see would be the building itself, and the idea of getting on a plane and going to a city for the sole purpose of visiting a museum, really appeals.

3. What is your favorite work of art and why? 

Oh, impossible question. I love the Jackson Pollock that appears in A Pug's Tale, I love Roy Lichtenstein and Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol. I think Tom Otterness is so completely full of fun and I loved when his sculptures were on Park Avenue in New York a few years ago.

4. This isn't your only book that features a pug. Do you have a pet pug? What makes pugs so appealing to write about? 

I don't have a pug, I'm just a fan and I'm lucky to have some very great pug friends. I think pugs are not only incredibly loving but very emotive, you really have an idea what they're thinking...that, and their inherent sweetness, makes them very fun to write about.

5. Have you ever studied art? Do you have any artistic talent?

I was an art history major in college, but technically I do not have much artistic talent. Can't draw or paint my way out of a paper bag. I do like taking bad pictures with my iPhone though:

For more information on Alison Pace, visit:

Photo credit: Alison Pace with her friends Olive and Hazel as captured in her author video (coming soon). Taken from

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

Banner created by roxicons @ Live Journal / Text added by me

"Sometimes it's more powerful
to say nothing and keep still."

~ Sara Zarr (How To Save A Life)

Cover: How To Save A Life

Sara Zarr revealed the final cover for her forthcoming novel, How To Save A Life, at her blog.

I think it captures the essense of the story perfectly.

You can pick up your copy on October 18.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Must Read: My Life Undecided

Last October, I read The Karma Club by Jessica Brody (you can see my brief review HERE) and adored it. Needless to say, I'm excited to read her new book My Life Undecided (out now)!


Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment.

Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure.

But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else decide which book I read for English. And whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated!

Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever.

But don’t take my word for it. Read the book and decide for yourself.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream in frustration. Or maybe that’s just me. After all, it’s my life.

For more information Jessica Brody, visit:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sara Zarr: How To Save A Life

I felt very honored to receive an Advance Reader's Copy of Sara Zarr's forthcoming novel How To Save A Life (October). She's one of my favorite authors. When I open one of her books, I know I'm always gong to read about a hard-hitting issue in a very realistic, responsible, and sensitive way. And she really hit it out of the ballpark with this one.

The narrators are teenage girls from very different places who have one thing in common--they're in a lot of pain.

Jill MacSweeney is still reeling from the sudden death of her father. She's alienated herself from her friends and boyfriend. She isn't really sure who she is anymore. And all she really wants is for things to go back to the way they were before.

Mandy Kalinowski has never felt loved or wanted by anyone, especially her mother, who cares more about booze, unstable boyfriends and superficial things. When she finds out she's pregnant, Mandy knows she doesn't want her child to grow up the way she did.

Their worlds collide when Jill's mom decides she wants to adopt a baby, and Mandy answers her online ad.

Soon, Mandy is living in Jill's house, bonding with her mom, preparing for the baby, and getting on Jill's nerves. She doesn't trust Mandy. And she thinks her mom is trying to replace her dad with this new baby.

What unfolds is an oftentimes heartbreaking story of love, healing, and unexpected family.

As with all of Sara Zarr's books, I took my time reading. I cared so much about the characters that I didn't want to rush the story. I wanted to absorb every moment and feeling. When I read the last page, I hugged the book to my chest, sad to say goodbye to Jill and Mandy but smiling at how much they'd grown and everything they had to look forward to.

Brilliant writing, raw emotions, flawed (but likeable) characters, an all too real plot, and a ray of hope in the midst of sadness, make How To Save A Life one of Sara Zarr's best books yet.

For more information, visit Sara Zarr at:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Five: Still Waiting

As most of my readers know, I rely on the library for 90% of what's reviewed here. I lost my job over two years ago. Buying books is a luxury observed only when I'm in the possession of gifts cards for Birthdays and at Christmastime. When I lived in western Massachusetts, I was spoiled with libraries all around me. If my library didn't carry a book, I could request it from other libraries. That can't happen where I live now. I ask the library to order books. I make suggestions. So far, I haven't been heard. That's why today's Friday Five is devoted to books that I really, really wish my library would carry because not being able to read them is driving me insane! They've been on my "to read" list far too long.

I've been wanting to read Rampant by Diana Peterfreund since I first heard about it. Killer unicorns? Seriously. I need to get my hands on this book.


Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns . . .

Astrid Llewelyn has always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one attacks her boyfriend—ruining any chance of him taking her to prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient Cloisters the hunters have used for centuries. However, all is not what it seems at the Cloisters. Outside, unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from bone-covered walls that vibrate with terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to her growing attraction to a handsome art student . . . an attraction that could jeopardize everything.

I read Tweets from fab author Stephanie Kuehnert raving about Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready and knew right away that I wanted to read it. Stephanie is never wrong in her book recommendations. I joined Jeri's Street Team and repeatedly inundate my library with bookmarks and swag. No luck yet. But I hope I'm wearing them down.


Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan’s band playing a crucial gig and Aura’s plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend’s life. She never thought it would be his last.

Logan’s sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He’s gone.

Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and talk to ghosts. This mysterious ability had always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan’s violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because Dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.

It doesn’t help that Aura’s new friend Zachary is so understanding — and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura’s relationship with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura’s heart . . . and clues to the secret of the Shift. 

I was such a big fan of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist that, of course, I want to read Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan.


“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own. 

I first heard about The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard on Live Journal. I remember giving out bookmarks to promote its publication. It sounds so interesting.


Colt and Julia were secretly together for a year, and no one ever knew, not even Julia's boyfriend. Why would they-they were from two different crowds. Julia lived in her country club world and Colt . . . didn't. Then Julia dies in a car accident. Colt is devastated but can't mourn openly, and he's tormented that he may have played a part in her death. And when Julia's journal ends up in his hands, he is forced to relive their year together-just when he is trying to forget. The problem is, how do you get over someone who was never really yours to begin with?

I stumbled upon Lisa Schroeder's blog sometime around the publication date of Chasing Brooklyn. I was immediately ingrigued.


Restless souls and empty hearts

Brooklyn can't sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca, died only a year ago, and now her friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe's ghost is there waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn't Lucca visiting her dreams.

Nico can't stop. He's always running, trying to escape the pain of losing his brother, Lucca. But when Lucca's ghost begins leaving messages, telling Nico to help Brooklyn, emotions come crashing to the surface.

As the nightmares escalate and the messages become relentless, Nico reaches out to Brooklyn. But neither of them can admit that they're being haunted. Until they learn to let each other in, not one soul will be able to rest.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

Banner created by roxicons @ Live Journal / Text added by me

"We don't forgive people because
they deserve it.
We forgive them because they
need it--because we need it."
~ Bree Despain (The Dark Divine)

My First Blog Award!

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 deserving blog buddies.
4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them.

Thanks to Rae at the Best O' Books blog, I've received my first blog award!

To keep this going, here are seven random facts about me:

01. I became a vegetarian in 11th grade after reading The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.

02. When I lived in New England, I spent a lot of time visiting the homes of many authors and poets. My favorite was Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House in Concord, MA.

03. Aside from a few Sweet Valley High and Judy Blume books, I didn't enjoy reading until 12th grade when my English teacher, Mrs. Stratton, included Where Are The Children? by Mary Higgins Clark on the syllabus. She sensed she had a classroom full of non-readers (she was right) and wanted to show us that reading could be a fun adventure (right, again). I've been a voracious reader ever since. Thank you, Mrs. Stratton! And thank you, Mary Higgins Clark!

04. I write poetry. Some of my poems have been published.

05. My favorite poet is Dorothy Parker.

06. I spent 10 years working in the music industry marketing music, which was a strange career path for someone who had never taken a single marketing class and studied English Literature and Philosophy in college. But it was fun!

07. My three favorite books of all time are Emma by Jane Austen, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, and Wicked by Gregory Maguire.

And now I get to share the love with 15 bloggers, which I have to say is hard. Narrowing it down to 15, anyway.

01. Let's Book It
02. Jagged Edge Reviews
03. Writings, Musings and Other Such Nonsense
04. Must Love Books and Coffee
05. The Review Girl
06. Read This Instead
07. My Mother Stuttered
08. Mello and June, It's a Book Thang!
09. The Coffee Bar
10. Chick's Lit
11. From the TBR Pile
12. BookHounds
13. The Electrical Book Cafe
14. The Book Monsters
15. Gathering Leaves
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