Mar 27, 2013

Review: Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

Arclight by Josin L. McQuein
April 23rd, 2013 from Greenwillow

The Arclight is the last defense. The Fade can’t get in. Outside the Arclight’s border of high-powered beams is the Dark. And between the Light and the Dark is the Grey, a narrow, barren no-man’s-land. That’s where the rescue team finds Marina, a lone teenage girl with no memory of the horrors she faced or the family she lost. Marina is the only person who has ever survived an encounter with the Fade. She’s the first hope humanity has had in generations, but she could also be the catalyst for their final destruction. Because the Fade will stop at nothing to get her back. Marina knows it. Tobin, who’s determined to take his revenge on the Fade, knows it. Anne-Marie, who just wishes it were all over, knows it.

When one of the Fade infiltrates the Arclight and Marina recognizes it, she will begin to unlock secrets she didn’t even know she had. Who will Marina become? Who can she never be again?

With no memory of how she was rescued from the Fade and no friends because she is an outsider, life in the Arclight is pretty much crap. Marina is living in a compound that is dedicated to keep the good in and the bad out. Only problem, that doesn't happen, the Fade find their way in, and sometimes she feels like she doesn't know what side of the wall she belongs on. Eventually, Marina is forced to make a decision based on a pile of lies from the people she trusted the most.

Mar 25, 2013

Review: Below by Meg McKinlay

Below by Meg McKinlay
May 14th, 2013 from Candlewick

On the day Cassie was born, they drowned her town. The mayor flipped a lever and everyone cheered as Old Lower Grange was submerged beneath five thousand swimming pools’ worth of water. Now, twelve years later, Cassie feels drawn to the manmade lake and the mysteries it hides — and she’s not the only one. Her classmate Liam, who wears oversized swim trunks to cover the scars on his legs, joins Cassie in her daily swims across the off-limits side of the lake. As the summer heats up, the water drops lower and lower, offering them glimpses of the ghostly town and uncovering secrets one prominent town figure seems anxious to keep submerged. But like a swimmer who ventures too far from shore, Cassie realizes she can’t turn back. Can she bring their suspicions to light before it’s too late — and does she dare?

I saw this book and was immediately struck by the cover! The concept of swimming over a ghost town covered in water completely freaked me out. Who knows what is down there and what could float up? Turns out, that all comes into play. My favorite part of this story was Cassie's description about how she doesn't quite fit in  - not with her town and certainly not with her family. She was born unexpectantly on the day the switch was thrown and the water covered the town. Ever since she was born she has seen herself as an outsider. Her family has fond memories of the old house and the laughs they all shared before Cassie came along. I identified with Cassie a lot considering she has much older siblings like me. I've been in many similar situations where I couldn't relate or I didn't get the inside joke. Feeling like a fifth wheel with your own family is for the birds. Cassie would agree.

Mar 11, 2013

Guest Post: Victoria Scott Talks Texas

I am totally jazzed to have Texas author Victoria Scott talking about one of our favorite subjects...TEXAS! Victoria is the author of that hunky book right up there that drops April 2nd from Entangled Teen and she has plenty more in the works! She was also added to the YAB Fest lineup which is May 11th right here in north Austin. 

Texas is known for being BIG – without looking it up, how big is Texas? 
8 trillion miles wide. And 5 inches.

Favorite place to write
My office. There's a bird feeder right outside my window. I like to watch the birds...and my cats trying to eat the birds. Don't worry, they never succeed. They're less the athletic type and more the Kitty Weight Watchers type.

Best chips and salsa: 
The chips and salsa from Mattitos in Dallas. The. Best.

Mar 8, 2013

Guest Post & Giveaway: Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

Orleans by Sherri L. Smith
March 7th, 2013 from Putnam Juvenile

I am happy to host Sherri on the blog today to chat about some good 'ole fashion ways to survive an apocalyptic hurricane! First, let's find out more about ORLEANS and stay tuned for a giveaway.

After a string of devastating hurricanes and a severe outbreak of Delta Fever, the Gulf Coast has been quarantined. Years later, residents of the Outer States are under the assumption that life in the Delta is all but extinct… but in reality, a new primitive society has been born.

Fen de la Guerre is living with the O-Positive blood tribe in the Delta when they are ambushed. Left with her tribe leader’s newborn, Fen is determined to get the baby to a better life over the wall before her blood becomes tainted. Fen meets Daniel, a scientist from the Outer States who has snuck into the Delta illegally. Brought together by chance, kept together by danger, Fen and Daniel navigate the wasteland of Orleans. In the end, they are each other’s last hope for survival.

Kirkus calls it "A harrowing and memorable ride."

Add to Goodreads
You can find Smith at her website

5 ways to survive an apocalyptic hurricane

This should be funny. A million zingers should be coming to mind on how to survive a hurricane apocalypse. Sadly, I can’t think of a single one. Instead, I’m going to be the Girl Scout I am and take this opportunity to tell you how to try to survive an apocalyptic hurricane. Granted, I’m not an expert, but I have taken a few preparedness classes, helped my mom evacuate after Katrina, and thought about it a lot. I don’t know that much will help anyone if it’s actually an apocalyptic hurricane, but any port in a storm, eh? So, here goes:

Guest Post & Giveaway: The Chronicles of Egg by Geoff Rodkey

Welcome to Stop #4 on The Chronicles of Egg Blog Tour! Author Geoff Rodkey is currently on a blog tour to promote the paperback release of the first book in The Chronicles of Egg series, Deadweather and Sunrise. Today Geoff reveals how Deadweather and Sunrise came to be. Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this post for a great giveaway I am hosting and to find out where in the blogosphere Geoff will be next!


Hi! I'm Geoff Rodkey, author of the adventure-comedy-mystery-romance Deadweather and Sunrise, the first book in the Chronicles of Egg trilogy. Most of the other stops on this blog tour are about the book itself, but I thought I'd spend this stop talking a little about how I came to write it.

I've been a working writer since my early 20's, and I spent most of my career writing for movies. Screenwriting can be a very frustrating business, creatively speaking, and by a few years ago, I'd started to feel so burned out that I began to wonder if I even wanted to keep writing for a living.

But I had this one idea that I really loved, and which I knew would never work as a screenplay because it had three elements that movie studios hate: a period setting, a 13-year-old protagonist, and no clear genre. It was an adventure story, but it also had a lot of comedy, along with a little mystery, a bad case of puppy love, some dysfunctional family dynamics, and a fair amount of colonial-era political intrigue.

Mar 5, 2013

Review, Interview, & Giveaway: Fox Forever (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #3) by Mary E. Pearson

Fox Forever (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #3) by Mary E. Pearson
March 19th, 2013 from Henry Holt

Locke Jenkins has some catching up to do. After spending 260 years as a disembodied mind in a little black box, he has a perfect new body. But before he can move on with his unexpected new life, he’ll have to return the Favor he accepted from the shadowy resistance group known as the Network.

Locke must infiltrate the home of a government official by gaining the trust of his daughter, seventeen-year-old Raine, and he soon finds himself pulled deep into the world of the resistance- and into Raine’s life.

Another series, that I love, is coming to an end. *pass the tissues* If you haven't read this series, I highly recommend it! Jenna Fox has been on so many Best Of and state-wide librarian lists it probably set a record. In this final installment, Locke is giving back to the resistance that helped him escape from his engineered life. He searches for a life of his own and in a sense tries to catch up to Jenna who has been living for over 200 years. What he finds is adventure, love, and a career dedicated to helping people. Any review will just about spoil something for a new reader. So, you have to trust this librarian that the series is more than worth a read. Great for middle grades who love science fiction, but not really looking for aliens and spaceships. Dystopian lovers and beginners new to the genre will also enjoy!

Mar 4, 2013

1987 Librarian Workout Video

Need a laugh? I think I just made your Monday...

Mar 1, 2013

Quick Audio Reviews: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green & Chime by Frannie Billingsley

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
January 10th, 2012 from Dutton Books

I know, I know, you read this book like the second it dropped on your doorstep. Welp, I didn't and I'll tell you why. I knew it would be sad, heartbreaking even and I don't do sad very well. So when the weeks went by and the reviews all said phrases like "my heart is in pieces" "this book broke me" I knew I had to put it off. Then suddenly I looked up and felt like I was going to be given a notice to appear in Library Court for not reading - an entire went by. I buckled, got the audio, and loved it. AND I didn't cry too much. Yes, I did but I wasn't completely falling apart like I anticipated. In fact, the part of the book that touched me and will stay with me is when Hazel's mother says, "I won't be a mom anymore." That statement right there made me just about loose my mind. If you've been putting this one off, grab the audio, a few tissues and just ride it out.... You won't regret it!