Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tween Tuesday Review: Madhattan Mystery

**Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens. Join the fun! **

Lexi and her brother Kevin are spending time in Manhattan while their father and his new wife enjoy a honeymoon. Lexi's not happy about her new family life and she's not thrilled to be in New York City.

On the first night there, Lexi eavesdrops in the Whispering Gallery. She hears two men talking an abandoned train station, jewels, and a buried body. At first, she thinks little of it. Then she reads the morning's headline: CLEOPATRA'S JEWELS VANISH.

Lexi and Kevin meet Kim - who lives in her aunt's building. Together the three of them start talking about the jewels. Kim convinces Lexi to call the police with her information. After the police scoff at them, they decide to look for the jewels themselves following the clues that Lexi overheard.

My Thoughts: I really liked this one! I loved how Bonk wove unique parts of the city with tourist attractions. I liked reading about Central Park, the MET, and Grand Central Station. The underground abandoned tunnels were fascinating. 

I liked how homelessness was woven into the story and the moments between Lexi and Melrose. I really liked Kim - she was smart and snarky. I liked how they all came together to figure out what really happened to the jewels.

Cover Thoughts: Awesome!
Source: Inter-library Loan (although an email from the author tipped me off to it). And it's one I'm going to get for our collection.

Fun Fact: Lexi and Kevin are from Cold Spring, NY - which is the town my father grew up in! Pretty cool to see that in a book. It definitely made me smile.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer Thrills

Today's my first post as a regular blogger for The Hub! I'm talking about books featuring Amusement Parks with roller coasters and a little romance. Check it out here!

Teen Librarian Survey Results

There are changes on the horizon for teens at my library. In order to understand these changes, I posted a survey of other librarians to see how they're libraries view teens, programming, and support.

I want to thank those of you who took the time to take the survey. I really want to thank those librarians who gave me support and understanding and hope. 

Here are the results:

I was curious to know the number of programs that libraries held for teens. I try to do one at least once a week.

The attendance for teens at programs varies considerably. I wished I asked some follow up questions for locations (urban/rural) and if they're near a school or right in town. I didn't think about that. However, responses back from the average program attendance was taken for normal programs, and not summer reading where usually the program attendance doubles. 11 libraries had 1-4 teens attending on average, 40 had 5-10 teens, and 30 had 11+ attending. I think it's great that teens all over the country are attending these programs. They're hearing about these programs through social networking, in-house posters, newsletters, their schools, the newspaper, radio and TV, emails, and best of all through word of mouth.

There are some libraries hosting teen/adult programming:

In attendance, there seems to be mostly NO number restriction on teens at programs. Programs are run with any number of teens attending from 1-30+. Some libraries require sign up, which was a question I didn't ask, but came through during the survey, and some librarians will cancel a program if they think there's not enough teens signed up. However, in all cases, it appears to be the Teen Librarian's choice at canceling the program. In other cases, if there is low attendance, Teen Librarians will evaluate the program and change it up to ensure more teens come to the next program.

Most Teen Librarians feel supported by their Administration - through money for programs, help with marketing, bouncing ideas off of them, and moral support. There are some who feel that they are on their own. Luckily, the network of Teen Librarians is sweet, caring, and understanding towards each other.

I love working with teens and hosting programs for them. My attendance as been low recently in some cases and in other cases soaring high. It's great to be able to talk with other Teen Librarians and get their feedback, views, and stories to what works for them and what new ideas they are bringing to their library. I love how the Teen Librarian community shares ideas with each other - intending other librarians to take an adapt their ideas.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Matinee: Dark Knight Rises

I was super excited to see this movie as my husband and I both loved the first two movies. Yes, they're dark. Yes, they're long. But yes, they're brilliant.

After watching it, I fired several questions at my husband about logistics with the plot - but overall, I just took it with a grain of salt. There were times characters did things and I didn't understand the reasoning behind it. Somethings we debated and somethings I just let go and enjoyed my overall feeling.

I liked that it came 8 years later. I liked how Bruce Wayne became a reclusive and a cynic after the ending of the previous movie. 

I love that everyone came back for the movie. I adore both Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine.

I loved that Liam Neeson had a small role. 

I thought that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was perfect in his role. He was determined and relentless in his hope to save Gotham. I hope to see more of him.

Anne Hathaway was awesome as Cat Woman - she was clever, manipulative, and adorable. She had great outfits, which reminded me of the old Hollywood style

I loved the the cameos from some of my favorite TV shows and movies:
Jamie from Blue Bloods (also played a cop)
Franki Rizzoli Jr  from Rizzoli and Isles
Ranger from One for the Money
Tom Conti from Louisa May Alcott's Inheritance.

I liked the fact that there was no mention of the Joker - which I read in EW was done out of respect.

I loved the climax twist.  I never saw it coming. The ending of the trilogy was brilliant, absolutely perfect. I admit that I teared up at the ending, but it was followed by a smile. 

What did you think?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mysterious Saturday Review: Red Velvet Revenge

 * Book 4 in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series*

The summer heat is keeping customers from Fairy Tale Cupcakes. When they get the chance to pack up and take their cupcakes to a rodeo, they jump at the chance.

At the opening parade, Slim Hazard, local legend and owner of the rodeo, gets shot. Melanie's not convinced it was an accident. She's certain when she stumbles across the body of a bull-rider. Melanie just had an unfortunate encounter with Ty Stokes. She was hoping to give him some cupcakes in hopes of cooling off his temper.

Now, she's struggling to keep her hot tempered employees out of hot water. Angie shoots murderous looks at Tate whenever he mentions Slim's daughter. Ox is tangled up with Slim's other daughter, the one who's protesting the rodeo. Everyone's annoyed with the guys from the BBQ food stand, who might have tampered with their cupcakes. Can she help save the rodeo without losing any of her employees?

My Thoughts: I really love this series. I loved the unique setting for this installment of the series. I confess I've never read a book at a rodeo before. I love that Melanie and Angie took their cupcakes to a rodeo. I adored the bet they made with the BBQ men.

I enjoyed reading about the process to make cakepops. I've tried to make them and the chocolate coating didn't work well for me. I might have to try them again.

I liked the moments between Angie and Tate - both the heated ones and the snippy ones. I loved the moments between Joe and Melanie - I can't wait to see what happens next between them!

Cover Thoughts: I adore these cover - and I love the cupcakes and the cakepops
Source: My Library.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: Confessions of a Murder Suspect

1st in a new series
Comes out September 24th

Tandy is a genius, who strives to keep her emotions in check. She's awoken in the middle of the night by the police. They insist upon coming into her apartment stating that they're investigating a murder. Tandy has no idea what they're talking about.

She attempts to get her parents. They don't allow her to move. She's forced to open the door and remain there while they search the apartment. They discover her parent - both murdered.

Tandy and her brothers have no knowledge of the deaths. Due to their unique upbringing, they rarely show emotions. Thus no one bursts into tears or collapses or goes into shock like normal teens.

As the police watch carefully, they begin to suspect that someone in the locked apartment, which showed no signs of forced entry, killed Mr and Mrs. Angel. Tandy decides to solve their murders - after all her mind is the clearest. She's also sure not to rule out any suspects ---including herself.

My Thoughts: It took me a couple chapters to get into this book, but then I was sucked in completely. Tandy is an unreliable narrator. Usually I don't like it when narrators talk to the readers, but this one works. However, it's hard to like Tandy and her siblings. They're so cold and different, almost inhuman. 

Despite that, I kept turning the pages. I had to know who murdered the Angels. I had to know what was going to happen next to the siblings. They were loose cannons. Eventually, I did learn to care about them. In typical Patterson fashion, my emotions kept me turning the pages as I had to know what happened next. The short chapters and the action and threat of danger is a great combination. I'm very interested to see where this series will go. I found this book fascinating.

Cover Thoughts: Interesting - I love the tagline, but I'm unsure about the cover itself.
Source: Signed! at BEA

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Teen Review Thursdays

Here's what some of the teens at the Otis Library have been reading this summer:

Angel Burn
Reviewed by Cheyenne
Angel Burn is definitely a different book than I've ever read, I loved it so much. The image of Angels not being these perfect, serene, happy and non-violent creatures is shattered in the story the author weaves, with a love story on the side to make it all the more interesting. I don't normally read nearly 500-page books in one day, but this book is definitely an exception. Read it if you ever get the chance! You will not be disappointed.

My Life in Pink and Green
Reviewed by Ashley
Lucy Desberg would qualify in the category of an average 12-year-old, that is, until the fate of her family's pharmacy lies (mostly) in her hands (literally). Lucy has to learn to mature faster than most kids her age, which makes the story interesting to readers. However, Lucy also faces the problems of any seventh grader, which leave readers curious about how she will deal with those obstacles. My Life in Pink & Green is the perfect book for anyone struggling with school and home life! 

The Glass Castle
Reviewed by Tasbiha
The glass castle is a very interesting book. It is a non fiction book. It's story was very touching. It showed me how horrific life can a person have. It showed the real image of life to me. It was a very sad book. It examined the real image of life. It showed life can be very hard but you have to be brave enough to face it. The book was great. Jeanette walls can be a rule model of every girl. I highly recommend this book to every teenager. 

Reviewed by Evan
It was a great read but very depressing. I would recommend this book to others because it was a great read and I very much enjoyed it 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What's on My Hold's List (18)


My Librarian friend Jess from I Read to Relax came up with a great idea.  It's to highlight the books on hold at the library. I usually have 20-40 items checked out at the library and another 20 items on hold.

The Girl Games: I adore this series and I'm super excited for this book - featuring the goddess girl Olympics. Plus this will be the first book told in multiple perspectives! 

Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom:  From the authors of the Goddess Girls series (see above), comes a new series about the guys in mythology. 

Frozen Heat: I adore Richard Castle - thanks to my library pinterest page for posting about this one. I saw it there and immediately placed a hold on it! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tween Tuesday Review: Fairest of All

 * first in a new series*

**Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens. Join the fun! **

Abby was awoken in the middle of the night by her brother who insists there's something strange happening in the basement. When she goes down with him to check it out, they're transported to a forest. 
After walking some distance, they stumble upon an old woman. After an unhelpful exchange with the woman, they decide to follow her. She leads them to a cottage, where she attempts to give a girl an apple.
Immediately, Abby understands. She's landed in the middle of Snow White's fairy tale. She foils the witch's plan. However, she soon realizes that she's foiled Snow White's life as the prince will never find her in the cottage. Abby vows to make things right for Snow White.

My Thoughts: I liked this twist on Fairy Tales. I really enjoyed watching Abby and her brother try to figure out a way to help Snow White, who wasn't exactly interested in following her life according to plan. I loved the ending of this tale and I'm curious to see what other fairy tales Abby drops in to. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library. 
Up Next: If the Shoe Fits comes out in January 2013. I'm guessing Cinderella's next!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Review: Black Dawn

 * the 12th book in the series*

Clare and her friends know that time is running out for Morganville. Instead of fighting the vampires that rule the town, this time they're fighting WITH the vampires. It's not a fight anyone thinks they can win.

But Claire and her friends have beaten the odds before and they're not going down without a fight.

The draugs need water to life. If they poison the water, it's possible they might have a chance. However, shutting off the water's going to be a battle in itself. With a few weapons, including a flamethrower that Shane loves, they decide to risk it.

Not everyone comes back. Will the fight for Morganville change the town and it's inhabitants forever? Will there be a town after the war? Most importantly, will Claire's luck hold or will it finally run out?

My Thoughts: I adore this series. I like how this series changes perspectives. I enjoy reading from everyone's point of view. I like how the vampires and the humans comes together to fight the new enemy and how that causes changes in everyone's relationship/pecking order. I liked the struggles within the relationships as Claire and Shane and Eve and Michael figured things out. I can't wait to see where the next book will go. 

Cover Thoughts: Fine
Source: My Library
Up Next: Bitter Blood comes out November 6th

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mysterious Saturday Review: Pies and Prejudice

 * first in a new series*

Ella Mae fled New York City, when she found her husband otherwise occupied with twins in the elevator. She runs back home to Georgia and the sleepy town she escaped when she met her husband. By running, she also left behind her culinary school.
Now Ella Mae's family has enveloped her back into the fold. She's talking with her mother again. She's not sure she's wants a divorce, but she does know she's never going back to New York City.  As things fall into place, her family helps her purchase a pie shop.
Ella Mae makes magically delicious pies. Unfortunately her childhood nemesis also wants to purchase the property. She warns Ella Mae against going through with the sale. She and Ella Mae have a shouting match in the bank parking lot. The next morning the police are at her house. Loralyn's fiance has been murdered and Ella Mae's the number one suspect. 

My Thoughts: I wanted to bake pies and eat pie all while reading this charming book. I loved the small town feel of this book. I loved watching the shop transform. I liked how all the family members came together to make the shop a success.  I loved reading about Ella Mae baking the pies. I'm intrigued about the magic that Ella Mae infuses into the pies. I loved watching Ella Mae blossom in her hometown and spreading her wings to find herself again. I can't wait to read more about her talent for magic in the next book.

Cover Thoughts: Perfect
Source: My Library.
Up Next: Peach Pies and Alibis comes out in March 2013

Friday, July 20, 2012

Author Visit: Kim Harrington

I was lucky enough to get the fabulously funny Kim Harrington to appear for our Teen Summer Reading Kick-off Program.

Here's the book table with all her fabulous books:

And the goodies table, because it's not an author visit without dessert

Kim talked about how she got ideas for her books and how she has an idea notebook now. She talked about characters - and now Clare might be her favorite because she wished that she always had a snarky comeback when she was being bullied, instead of walking away.

Kim shared foreign covers with her. Some are great and some are very strange, not making a whole lot of sense to me. Here's the UK copy -which looks awesome! The model on the cover has major attitude!

Kim talked about her middle grade trilogy, which is super cute. The two main girls are super nerdy and super proud of it, which is great. Kim, herself, is a HUGE Star Wars fan.  I'm loving the nerdy girl trend.

All in all, it was an evening full of bookish talk, lots of laughter, and left several readers eager to read more of Kim's work. Really, it was perfect.

And here are the two if us together - Don't you LOVE Kim's shirt? I do!

Kim was gracious enough to pose for a READ poster for the library. Here's what I came up with! Do you like it?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Teen Review Thursday: Quick Reviews

Just Ella 
Reviewed by Shun Yi 
Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix is the retell of Cinderella with a twist. I liked it, because, instead of showing Cinderella as a helpless, poor girl who's always put down by her step-evils and was finally aided by her fairy godmother to the ball, Just Ella portraits Ella, a girl who’s not afraid to stand up to her stepmother, who’s very intelligent, and who saved herself at the end by taking control of her own destiny.

Princess Academy
Reviewed by Jessica
This is a amazing book about a young girl who is in an academy to be a princess, but she is faced with harsh competition and a cruel events. When the princess academy is threatened, she must find a way to save her classmates from danger. This is a great book that I recommend to everyone.

Ranger's Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan 
Reviewed by Julia
 A book about an orphaned boy named Will whose accepted into the Mysterious Ranger Corps, A group that the common folk believe practice the dark arts. Pick up this book today to follow Will in his first adventure.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Books I'm Dying to Read: September edition

Here are books I can't wait to read coming out in September!!! Are they on your list? Is there a book I missed that you're looking forward to reading? Let me know!

Diviners: I've really liked the books I've read about the Roaring 20s! Plus, it's Libba Bray!!
Ten: I LOVE the cover - this book sounds pretty creepy!

Sweet Shadows: I read this one - and adored it, you can see my review here.

Hidden: I really like this trilogy - for the dragons, the romance, and the friendships. I can't wait to see how it ends.


Outpost: I really liked Enclave and am interested to learn what's next. Plus the cover is really creepy.

Origin: I loved this book - just reviewed it for VOYA.

Seconds Away: I really enjoyed Shelter - so looking forward to where we left Mickey.

Dead Girls Detective Agency: A girl dies but follows clues to solve her own murder - sounds perfect. I adore mysteries!

Confessions of a Murder Suspect: So interested in the new James Patterson book - in fact I'm hoping to start it later today!

Paladin Prophecy: This sounds perfect: lots of action making adrenaline pump through the blood!

Casual Vacancy - I'm so curious about this book, as of course, I adored the Harry Potter series. Although, I hate the cover. It's super boring.
The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck: A tween mystery with a scavenger hunt = sold!

My Super Secret 16th Century: A trip to Italy leaves her in...Renaissance Florence - which sounds perfect

Masquerade: I'm addicted to this series and I can't wait to find out what happens between the roommates

Shadowfell: A new trilogy of fantasy with survival, danger, and romance

Shatterproof: I love the 39 Clues series and now Amy and Dan have to steal a diamond

Died with a Bow: The second book in a mysteries series, which I enjoyed.

When You Give a Duke a Diamond: Murder ,deception, diamonds, and romance blend together in this start of a trilogy.