Sep 27, 2012

Banned Books Week Hop - And Tango Makes Three & TTYL

It is my pleasure to co-host the Banned Books Week Hop with Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer! I think my blog title says just a little bit about how I feel about the freedom to read, but in case it wasn't quite clear...I Read Banned Books. And, I support others that do as well! Banned Books Week is a week to celebrate Intellectual Freedom, Don't get hung up on the term "banned," we haven't actually banned a book in years, but we do challenge a book for removal. No bueno.

If this is the only blog post you read about banned books, I want you to take a look at these sites:
Banned Book Week from ALA
Frequently challenged books are listed HERE 

Let's hop! The FULL list can be found HERE1 US winner will win your choice of these titles:

Sep 24, 2012

Giveaway: Seconds Away & Shelter by Harlan Coben

I have a great giveaway this week thanks to Penguin and Big Honcho Media. I have one fun prize pack: SHELTER & SECONDS AWAY by Harlan Coben. Plus, a super cute bag to carry them in. US only. First, info about the book and author.

About Seconds Away
When tragedy strikes close to home, Mickey Bolitar and his loyal new friends—sharp-witted Ema and the adorkably charming Spoon—find themselves at the center of a terrifying mystery involving the shooting of their friend Rachel. Now, not only does Mickey have to continue his quest to uncover the truth about the Abeona Shelter, the Butcher of Lodz and the mysterious death of his father, he needs to figure out who shot Rachel—no matter what it takes.

Mickey has always been ready to sacrifice everything to help the people he loves. But with danger just seconds away, how can he protect them when he’s not even sure who—or what—he’s protecting them from?

Sep 19, 2012

Review & Guest Post: Audition & Subtraction by Amy Fellner Dominy

Audition & Subtraction by Amy Fellner Dominy
September 4th, 2012 from

For as long as Tatum can remember it’s been: Tatum + Lori = Best friends

They do everything together, including a yearly clarinet/flute duet for District Honor Band auditions. But when a new boy transfers to their middle school and their band, the equation suddenly changes to: Lori + Michael – Tatum = One happy couple

With her best friend slipping away and her parents recently separated, Tatum’s life has turned upside down. Plus her good friend Aaron thinks that they are secretly boyfriend and girlfriend, all because of one little lie Tatum told. Accepting change isn’t easy for Tatum, but just how much is she willing to give up to hold on to her friendship with Lori and life as she knows it? For Tatum, the best way to move forward may require a whole new formula . . .

This is a book every band geek will enjoy! I say that with love.... When hottie Michael moves in to town, shy Tatum is determined to not let this boy come in between her and her BFF Lori. Lori on the other hand, is knee deep in her first relationship. Throw in a fight to the death band competition - well, almost - and you have a fun middle grade that tests the lines of friendships.

I am excited to have Amy at the blog today chatting about her worst school picture. Let's face it, we ALL have one floating around. Amy is brave enough to share her picture so I am too! 

Sep 18, 2012

Review: Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
September 18th, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers


Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste.

Every now and then I love a good bitchy book with drama and this one delivered! From the get-go we see that friendships are strained and not so peachy. Told from three points of view, Lilia, Kat, and Mary, life on Jar Island is anything but breezy. Lillia and Rennie are the schools Queen B's, but their relationship is more of a love/hate kind of thing. Lillia is tired of Rennie's selfish behavior and the way she treats the entire school. Kat was cast out of the cool kids club in middle school and that hurt is still very real. Mary left Jar Island and now she's back with a plan to get noticed by the one who broke her heart. We go back and forth between the three and soon enough, the three are in-cahoots to get what they want - revenge.

Sep 17, 2012

Cover Reveal: Solstice by P.J. Hoover

Solstice by P.J. Hoover
June 2013 from TorTeen

Each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles that threaten to destroy the earth. Amid this global heating crisis, Piper lives under the oppressive rule of her mother, who suffocates her even more than the weather does. Everything changes on her eighteenth birthday, when her mother is called away on a mysterious errand and Piper seizes her first opportunity for freedom.

Piper discovers a universe she never knew existed—a sphere of gods and monsters—and realizes that her world is not the only one in crisis. While gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals out of control as she struggles to find the answer to the secret that has been kept from her since birth.

An imaginative melding of mythology and dystopia, Solstice is the first YA novel by talented newcomer P. J. Hoover.

I am thrilled to share the cover for Solstice by my good friend P.J. Hoover! She is another shining example of why Texas writers rock! I read Solstice and just loved it! I find mind myself recommending it in the library to girls who love mythology then I have to remember that it isn't even out yet. Zoinks! 

The cover is exactly what this book is about, and the blurb for Texas' own Cynthia Leitich Smith sums it up: “Solstice is one red-hot read—it intrigues, sizzles, and satisfies.” Bookmark this one and set your sights on one hot read in June 2013! Congrats, P.J.!

Add to Goodreads
You can find Hoover at her website, blog, and at Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels
Find Solstice on Facebook

To celebrate, Hoover is hosting a giveaway! Check it out HERE

Giveaway: Perks Of Being a Wallflower & Movie Soundtrack

I am happy to have two Perks prize packs to offer today. The original motion picture soundtrack and the book (movie tie-in edition). Here is a little more info about the movie and sountrack.

Summit Entertainment
Exclusive Engagements Begin September 21

Based on the Best-Selling Novel by STEPHEN CHBOSKY

A funny and touching coming-of-age story based on the beloved best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER is a modern classic that captures the dizzying highs and crushing lows of growing up. Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER is a moving tale of love, loss, fear and hope—and the unforgettable friends that help us through life.

Sep 12, 2012

Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
March 1st, 2012 from Abrams

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia - cue extreme adolescent awkwardness - but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

How can a book about a dying girl be totally hilarious? Not sure, but ask Jesse Andrews because he sure knows how to write one! Greg is the King of Awkward. Wait, awkward isn't really the right word. His friend, Earl, is even more of a case. Together, they are a total mess and pretty much all on their own. Social rejects at its finest. Who wants to hang out with two dorks that make movies in their backyard? #raiseshand When Greg's mother forces him to spend time with Rachel, a dying girl he doesn't even know, Greg puts his humor-to-get-through-the-day skills to the test. All he has to do is cheer up Rachel and move on with his life. No easy task, but the kid does his best. Que sad violin music...

Sep 11, 2012

Banned Books Week Hop - Sign Ups

Announcing the 2nd Annual Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop! I am co-hosting with I Am A Reader, Not a Writer again this year. I think my blog title says just a little bit about how I feel about the freedom to read, but in case it wasn't quite clear...I Read Banned Books. And, I support others that do as well! Banned Books Week is a week to celebrate Intellectual Freedom, Don't get hung up on the term "banned," we haven't actually banned a book in years, but we do challenge a book for removal. No bueno.

September 28th to October 6th

Required: give away a challenged book or include information about Banned Book Week as part of your giveaway post.

The dates for the hop are September 28th to October 6th.

Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Ten by Gretchen McNeil
September 18th, 2012 from Balzer + Bray

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

They blurb really says it all - Ten teens. Three days. One killer. This book reminds me of the movie Clue. Everyone is lured to the house under false pretenses and then people start dropping like flies. As soon as you think you have an idea of who the murder might be, they'd die. Several clues are dropped for the reader, but they aren't so easy to pick up on. The characters are smart, none of this "I'll go in the attic and look all by myself" business. There are even a few jokes that play off of bad horror movie cliches. All too often in horror movies and books there are serious holes in the plot. Why don't they walk next store and ask a neighbor for help? Why don't do this or that? McNeil pretty much covered everything and truly made these ten teens out of touch with the world.

Sep 5, 2012

Quick Audio Reviews: Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter & Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
June 21st, 2012 from Disney Hyperion

I'm gearing up for the Austin Teen Book Festival and had to catch up with Carter's 2nd series - I'm a Gallagher Girls fan too! Even though I listened to Heist Society in 2010, it was easy to jump right back into the life of teen thief Katrina Bishop. This time around, she is a victim of a con (loved!), and vows to right the major wrong. Her eyes are set on the Cleopatra Emerald and that girl goes all over the world to steal the jewel. I loved the background of the Cleopatra Emerald - is that all fiction? - and her budding relationship with cutie-pie Hale really made the story fly by. I liked this one better than the first! Great series for a middle grader looking for a mystery and adventure....with smarts! 

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You can find Carter at her website
Carter will be at #ATBF12