Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Rules of Survival, by Nancy Werlin

Fourteen year old Matt’s mom Nikki is beautiful. She stomps around in high heels and she gets guys to do whatever she wants. But Nikki is also dangerous; she drives on the wrong side of the road for the thrill of it, locks her kids up in their apartment, and leaves for days at a time with no explanation. So Matt, along with his slightly younger sister Callie and five year old sister Emmy, have to learn how to survive, how not to set their mother off, how to make it. But one day Matt meets Murdoch, a man who he thinks can help make the situation with Nikki better. Just surviving might not cut it, he realizes, and starts to want more for his sisters, for himself, and he thinks Murdoch can help. Told in a long letter written to his sister Emmy, The Rules of Survival is a fast-paced book that keeps you hooked – mostly because Matt will every now and then refer to how things turn out for them in the end, making you want to know even moreso, how do they get there? As it is a book essentially about child abuse, The Rules of Survival could get depressing – at times, it does. But because the characters, especially Matt, rise above their suffering and learn how to smartly cope, it becomes a hopeful story, a survival story.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Francesca Lia Block

A young adult author I didn't even know about until graduate school, Francesca Lia Block is one of the most well-known author of young adult books. Though she is only in her 40's, she has already recieved the Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association, an award recognizing lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. Block's young adult novels -- she also writes for adults -- are noted for their magical realism and poetic qualities. The characters often live in a dreamlike world based on Los Angeles, Block's lifelong home. Weetzie Bat is Block's first novel, written in 1989, and it starts off her Dangerous Angels, or Weetzie Bat, series. Considered controversial by some, Block's books are so far standing the test of time. Don't let some of those crazy 1990s covers throw you off, these books are as relevant now as they were then.

Still want to know more? Check out Francesca Lia Block's official website, and if that's not enough, there's also the shrine made by her fans!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Harry Potter and the _______ __________

Well, the title for the seventh installment of the ever popular Harry Potter series is now available on JK Rowling's website, and yes, I already checked it to find out. It's a little complicated to find (if you're me, but probably not if you are familiar with the workings of her site) so if you need help, check out, which provides some hints. This morning on the train, I started in on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

pack up your pants!

Fans of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants should head over to Sisterhood Central, if they're interested in flying to New York to meet author of the New York Times best-selling series, Ann Brashares. Entries must be submitted by March 12, 2007, so there's still plenty of time to enter! Check it out!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

1 down...5 to go

It just occured to me that I never said that I finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone! Well, you should be happy to hear that I did finish it last week, and that I really, really liked it. I'm going to check out Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets this weekend, and hopefully during the holidays I'll have some downtime to read more of them.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

"I'm sorry I ruined your lives, and crammed eleven cookies into the VCR."

Thanks to Caroline for helping decorate the window in an "Elf" theme - check it out!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Have you ever been sad/mad when your friend ate that last piece of cake?

The same kids responsible for the "Looking for Alaska" trailer made this fine video. Enjoy!

Looking for Alaska... the movie trailer?!

Awhile back, John Green posted this video to his blog. Some high school students had to make trailers, kind of like movie trailers, but instead, they were for books. These students chose "Looking for Alaska"... and I have to say, it's pretty amusing, especially if you've read the book.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

True confessions of a librarian

I have never read any of the Harry Potter books! I know, I know, I know.

But, things are about to change. Yesterday, I checked out "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" from the library, and so far I am at page 100. I love it! The descriptions of his cousin are so, so funny, and J. K. Rowling's writing creates a setting I can almost see. Having lived in England for a bit myself, I really enjoy hearing about familiar places.

I have a feeling that pretty soon, I won't be able to say "I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books." Instead I'll be asking, "How many days until July 7, 2007????????"

What are your favorite books in the Harry Potter series???

(in best heavy metal singer voice, she says:) ANGEL OF DEAAAAATHHH

by Alane Ferguson (check out her website!)
In Angel of Death, seventeen year old Cameryn Mahoney – Cammie – has the dream job of any CSI fanatic; she’s the assistant to the county coroner in small Colorado town, who just happens to be her father. Cammie’s usually never grossed out by the gory aspects of her job, but when the remains she examines are those of her beloved English teacher Mr. Oakes, she finds it challenging to remain emotionally detached. The uncertain and disturbing nature of the teacher’s death – he is in his own bed, no sign of forced entry, with his insides curiously fried and his eyeballs missing – leads Cammie to befriend the one who found him: attractive, popular Eagle Scout Kyle O’Neil. As the two of them bond over the trauma of their teacher’s death, Cammie and the deputy continue to unravel clues in the search for what and, more importantly, who killed Mr. Oakes. Avid mystery readers and even those who don’t read a lot of mysteries (like, um, ME!) will find this book compelling and interesting. The last hundred pages will whiz by in a fury of page-turning, once you realize who the “bad guy” is. If you like it and want to read more about Cameryn Mahoney, check out The Christopher Killer.