Sep 29, 2010

Making time to read and lots of quickie reviews....

I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm certain that there is less than 24 hrs in a day now. Where is the time going? We are creeping on October, and the days are going by in a blur. I don't think I'm the only one that has noticed time is flying.... Regardless, I have time to read. Even if it's for only 10 or 15 minutes, I read every single day. It's an important time of day for me. As you have probably guessed, I'm an avid YA reader. I really always have been. There are a few adult fiction books that I enjoyed (anything by Alice Hoffman), but I usually stick to the YA highway. With time passing, my kids growing up, and a husband on the road, I find that reading is my saving grace. Other side of the coin - I have to choose my reads wisely. I've been suckered in by a book with an amazing cover, but the story was a complete failure. So, here is what I've read lately paired with a down and dirty review. Here we go....

HALO by Alexandra Adornetto
2010, Supernatural Romance

Review: Angel put on Earth to save mankind decides to fall in love with a boy instead. Read to page 50 then skip to page 300. 1 out of 5 stars.

FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan
2010, Paranormal Romance

Review: Jacinda is a draki who is trying to live like a normal teenager, but a boy awakens her inner dragon. Sounds corny, but it isn't. Surprisingly awesome! 5 out of 5 stars.

MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner
2009, Sci-Fi Fantasy
Review: Thomas wakes up in a game where the stakes are high. With no memories, he feels a connection to the deadly place, and knows it's up to him to save himself and solve the maze. Up my alley, but tad dull in teh middle. 4 out of 4 stars

CITY OF ASHES by Cassandra Clare
2009, Paranormal Romance
Review: Clary, Simon, Jace, Alec, and Isabelle continue to battle creatures of the Underworld. Sequel to City of Bones. Twists, turns, and someone gets "turned." 4 out of 5 stars

Sep 27, 2010

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Here it is....FOREVER by the great Maggie Stiefvater! First off.....I called it! I knew it would be red!

Maggie has a great contest going on. Here are the details:

On either your blog (only independent blogs like those on LJ, Wordpress, etc. -- Goodreads and Shelfari and listservs don’t count) or your Facebook, post the cover image and some version of WHOOO FOREVER, THE LAST BOOK IN THE SHIVER TRILOGY, PRE-ORDER A SIGNED COPY HERE! (so they know what exactly it is you’re posting) and the link to the pre-order site: Then come back to Maggie's site and comment with a link (you don’t have to make your facebook profile unprivate, just tell me it is and we can verify if your name gets picked). If you have a facebook and a blog, you can enter twice, just make sure you leave a unique comment for each entry, because that’s how they’re tallied. Please note if you’re an international entry. Please note, too, that ALL of those component have to be part of your entry to be eligible for #1-6.


1. 2 signed copies of the Linger audiobook, featuring the sex-on-a-stick narrator that reads Cole’s parts and the narrator who SINGS Sam’s songs in his parts.

2. A signed and intensely doodled in copy of LINGER, personalized to you, naturally.

3. A signed and intensely doodled in paperback copy of SHIVER, personalized to you, naturally

4. 4 LINGER tank tops provided by Scholastic (unfortunately only available in two sizes, small and improbably small.

5. A signed UK editon of LINGER.

6. 20 signed bookmarks

7. 15 doodled and signed bookplates

Whatchya waiting for? Visit for all the details!

Sep 25, 2010

Austin Teen Book Festival - October 2nd

This Saturday, October 2nd, authors and readers will travel to Austin, TX for the 2nd annual Austin Teen Book Festival. The festival is a time where we can celebrate and promote reading by connecting teens to local and award-winning authors. The lineup is fantastic this year! 

Keynote Author: Ellen Hopkins

Panels & Authors:
The Dastardly Daydreamers: Fantasy – Melissa de la Cruz, Kiersten White, Sophie Jordan, Nancy Werlin, & Alexandra Adornetto
The Mustache Twirlers: Evil Machinations – James Dashner, Pam Bachorz, S.A. Bodeen, Catherine Jinks, Ally Carter
The Boundary Breakers: Realistic/Edgy Fiction – Ellen Hopkins, Kenneth Oppel, Susane Colasanti, and Jon Skovron

The festival is FREE and open to everyone! Book People will be selling books - you must buy 1 book from each author to get books signed from home. 

Here are the major details:

WHEN: Saturday, October 2nd, 10 am – 5 pm
WHERE: Westlake High School: 4100 Westbank Dr., Austin, TX 78746  
      *The closest parking will be outside of the Performing Arts Center (PAC) and by the Chap Court (next to the football field)

Please visit for more information!

Hope to see you there - I will be moderating the Dastardly Daydreamers panel. 

Happy Banned Books Week!

Banned Books Week is finally here! Celebrate by reading a book and sharing a story with someone. Remember to #SpeakLoudly and Speak Often!

Sep 22, 2010

Speak Loudly - Speak Often

If you have been on Twitter and follow even just a few YA book lovers or authors, you may have noticed the green Speak Loudly Twibbon (Twitter + ribbon that shows support) or #SpeakLoudly hashtag. Speak Loudly, I feel began, with Ellen Hopkins "disinvitation" from the Houston Teen Book Festival in Humbolt Texas. What am I talking about? Here is a recap:

On August 10th, Ellen Hopkins blogged that ONE librarian had concerns about Hopkins visit scheduled appearance due to the intense and controversial subject matter of her books. The librarian, followed with a very small handful of fired-up parents, met with superintendent, Guy Sconzo. As a result, Hopkins was "uninvited." Very shortly after, 4 other authors voluntarily took themselves off the roster. Mellisa de la Cruz, Matt de la Pena, Terra Lynn Childs, and Pete Hautman took a stand against this blatant form of censorship in support of Hopkins. The festival was forced to cancel the entire event. 

Twitter, Facebook and blogs went wild in support of Ellen, her books, and the right to read. More recently, the YA lit world has suffered another blow. This time against Laurie Halse Anderson's novel Speak. On September 19th, an article published by News-Leader in Springfield, Missouri brought to light the (disgusting) views of Wesley Scroggins. The article entitled, "Filthy Books Demeaning to Republic Education" is an editorial piece where Mr. Scroggins characterizes Speak as "soft pornography". He is referring to the two rape scenes in the book. I'm sure many rape survivors, among others, would be outraged to learn others think of rape as a pornographic sexual act. Most reasonably educated and social conscious people know that rape is not about sex - it's about control and power. As a result of the article, Anderson asked the help of the YA book community. She asks that people talk about how Speak made them feel, and about how the novel can be used in a school setting. Something Mr. Scroggins is trying to see banned. Lastly, Anderson asks the community as a whole to "..consider this your chance to get a head start on speaking up about a good book and defending the intellectual freedoms guaranteed us in our Constitution." 

So here I am, SPEAKING LOUDLY! I support the right to read, and the freedom to choose for myself. I will empower my children to make book selections that are right for them. They will be independent readers, as well as choosers. Lastly, as a librarian, I will recommend books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression without imposing my own beliefs. 

Full blog post from Ellen Hopkins HERE

Full article from News-Leader HERE

Full blog post from Laurie Halse Anderson HERE

Sep 21, 2010

Smart Chicks Swag Giveaway!

The Smart Chicks Tour is well underway and Austin, TX was the first stop! On September 13th hundreds of book nerds, bloggers, parents drug by their kids, and YA fans gathered at Book People. It was a packed house! Authors Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely), Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampires), Kelley Armstrong (Darkest Powers), Holly Black (The Curseworkers and Spiderwick Chronicles), Cassandra Clare (Infernal Devices series), and Alyson Noel (The Immortals series) answered questions from the audience and signed books.

Unfortunately, I had to zip in and out (The Teenager had tons of homework), and I wasn't able to purchase books for a giveaway. BUT....I am giving away some swag from the tour. Here is what I have up for grabs: Smart Chicks book mark, Wicked Lovely series book mark and SIGNED book plate from Melissa Marr, 2 Wicked Lovely bracelets, 1 Morganville bracelet, 4 tattoos from The Immortal Instruments from Cassandra Clare, and 2 SIGNED book marks from Alyson Noel. 

Follow me (please), and fill out the form below. Contest ends October 5th...Good luck! 

Sep 19, 2010

Banned Books Week 2010

As you may know, I started this blog the summer of 2009 in order to fulfill requirements for my MLS. I was having a tough time coming up with a name because I knew I wanted to continue the blog after graduation, but I also wanted the title to So, I decided on I Read Banned Books because the topic is something I feel passionate about and I have a little experience in this area. At the time, I had been a library substitute for Leander and one day the library got a call from a parent that was very upset about a book their child brought home. The book contained sex, profanity, thoughts against Christianity, and homosexuality. The parent wanted the book pulled off the shelf for these reasons. Luckily, this school library had a process in place for challenged books. The principal was informed and a meeting took place with the parent, principal, and district librarian. The decision? The book was pulled off the shelf and all the library shelves in the district. Unfortunate, but all of those involved stuck to the protocol. All too often, one person complains, and a librarian backs down because they don't know what else to do but comply. I can't express how important it is to have a collection policy (why you choose books) in place.

Another year has come and gone and it is Banned Books Week once again. Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982. September 25 - October 2 can be one week where we can celebrate intellectual freedom and the right to read.

This one of my favorite videos about book banning. I laugh every time!

Sep 13, 2010

Must Have Monday

This week....just a few things I wouldn't mind having mailed to me. ;) Enjoy!

Bat Art Print

Sep 8, 2010

International Literacy Day

Happy International Literacy Day!!

More than 780 million of the world’s adults (nearly 2/3 of whom are women) do not know how to read or write. Between 94 and 115 million children lack access to education. International Literacy Day was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1965. How can you celebrate? Read a book, read a book to someone else, and get involved!

International Literacy Day 

UNESCO Institute for Statistics: Literacy 

Thinkfinity Literacy Network 

Sep 7, 2010

Closet Clean Out Winners

Congratulations to my first closet clean out winners! Shoot me an email with your address. You have 72 hrs or the book goes to the next in line. (If you are new to Blogger: go to View My Complete Profile to the right --> and find Email link) Stay tuned for a new giveaway later in the week. You'll have to work a little for the next one.... o_O

A Pearl in the Storm... - My So Called Life
Our Hot Romance... - Dana
The Blessings of the Animals - Sharon
Leaving Before It's Over - Cass (Words on Paper)
The One That I Want -  Leslie
City of Tranquil Light  - Meredith

Thanks everyone, and stay tuned! 

Sep 6, 2010

Must Have Monday

I get a lot of remarks about my *awesome* last name, and I thought I would have a heart theme for today. These are things that you can buy on the Interwebs and that have nothing to do with me personally. I just think they're stinkin' cute! The description contains the link to the item. Happy Monday!

Sep 3, 2010

Matched Review

So many times a highly publized book doesn't live up to the hype. NOT in this case! I absolutely loved this story! I read an ARC (black cover with no art) and couldn't put it down. So cliche, but so true! 

Cassia lives in the future where life is seemingly perfect. There is no disease, no worrying over what to wear, what to eat or where to work. Everything is decided for you - controlled. Food portions, exercise routines, clothing, and even her mate are chosen for her. We meet Cassia the night of her Match Banquet; the ceremony where she will learn who her mate for life will be. She is nervous about seeing her partner for the first time on the giant screen, but knows that whoever the boy will be, he will be perfect for her. Officials have gathered her genetic information and personality traits to calculate the best possible mate. Cassia was no reason to be nervous; the Officials never make mistakes.

From here, things get very interesting. The Match Banquet goes surprisingly well, but within a few days, things start to fall apart. People are not who they seem to be, and a "glitch in the system" leaves Cassia thinking that maybe this seemingly perfect life isn't so....perfect. 

Personally, I rank this book up there with other wildly popular dystopian YA novels - The Giver, The Hunger Games, The Uglies, etc... It really is that good and one of my favorite books of the year. 

Matched will be released November 30th, but you can pre-order now. 
Visit Ally Condie at her website,

Sep 2, 2010

Linger Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered into the autographed Linger giveaway and who followed zeee blog! Before I announce the winner (no cheating), take a look at this fantastic Shiver (first in series) trailer made by Maggie Stiefvater. It blows me away every time I watch it!

Congratulations to......


Check your email, and thank you for recommending: the Iron Few and Demon's Lexicon Series! Happy Reading!