New Books April 2012

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Even More Books!

So I don't know why I'm surprised that I thought this book was amazing... I have been wanting to read it for such a long time and now I finally was able to! This book is absolutely fantastic (as are all of Laurie Halse Anderson's books.

To sum it up quickly, Tyler went from scrawny to steamy over the summer after having to do community service. Now the most popular girl in school, not to mention Tyler's dream woman, Bethany is starting to notice. But when riskay pictures end up on the internet of Bethany, the cops think Tyler did it. What is Tyler suppose to do. Everyone tells him he's on a short leash and on thin ice. Tyler tries to act like a man, but no one ever told him how to be one.

Here's a review:

In TWISTED, Laurie Halse Anderson presents readers with Tyler Miller, whose transformation from a meek, social Mr. Cellophane to a chiseled, admired "tough guy" sets his world on end. As someone who spends his days unnoticed, Tyler finds himself with more attention than he wanted after he vandalizes school property and, to pay for his crime, takes a summer job doing landscaping. The unforeseen side effect is that he returns the next school year with a brand new bod that's turning heads, most notably the head of Bethany Milbury.
But not everything --- even Bethany's advances --- works out well for Tyler. As he struggles to contend with his angry father, a mistrustful faculty and the aftermath of a drunken party, Tyler comes to the painful realization that there's a substantial price tag for his newfound popularity, and juggling the consequences lead him to thoughts of suicide.
While the overall story tackles weighty issues such as identity, family and suicide, Anderson masterfully interjects wry humor that always seems to find its mark. There's something very genuine in the portrayal of Tyler's struggle, both as he seeks attention and as he seeks to banish it. His volatile family situation --- especially his relationship with his father --- is familiar without bowing to a stereotypical, dysfunctional family. Despite times when Chip Milbury (Bethany's brother and the bane of Tyler's rebirth) comes across a little cartoonish in his machinations, the characterizations ring true.
TWISTED, with its tip of the hat to black comedy, does what all good cautionary tales should do: leaves the reader with the certainty that something would be missing in their life without it. Don't miss out on this.
Exposed by Susan Vaught is awesome.
The story goes like this. There once was a girl named Chan who had it with real boys... she decides to go online and meet a man...well a man she does meet. And she does things she really shouldn't in order to keep talking to him. She goes against all of her gut instincts and eventually finds out the truth.

Here's a review:
Chan Shealy’s got most things going right in her life—straight A’s, a shot at the regional majorette championships in baton twirling, and the best best friend a girl could wish for. But after the football quarterback spreads a vicious lie about her, and the whole school decides she’s too trashy for words, Chan begins to wonder if the only place she’ll find love is online.She’s careful. She follows all her parents’ rules, mostly anyway. A girl’s got to trust herself at a certain point, right? But what if your gut is telling you something that you’re just not hearing… until it’s too late?From the moment Chan logs on and meets Paul, until the truth begins to show through, Susan Vaught sends readers on a fast-paced and gripping ride. Even when you know something bad will happen, you still might not see it coming…
I just finished reading an amazing's entitled Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott. It only took me about an hour and a half to read because I just couldn't put the book down. Anyone interested in this sort of book should definitely check it out so we can discuss it! Here's a synopsis:

From Publishers WeeklyStarred Review.
Fans of Scott's YA romances Perfect You or Bloom may be unprepared for the unrelieved terror within this chilling novel, about a 15-year-old girl who has spent the last five years being abused by a kidnapper named Ray and is kept powerless by Ray's promise to harm her family if she makes one false move. The narrator knows she is the second of the girls Ray has abducted and renamed Alice; Ray killed the first when she outgrew her childlike body at 15, and now Alice half-hopes her own demise is approaching (I think of the knife in the kitchen, of the bridges I've seen from the bus... but the thing about hearts is that they always want to keep beating). Ray, however, has an even more sinister plan: he orders Alice to find a new girl, then train her to Ray's tastes. Scott's prose is spare and damning, relying on suggestive details and their impact on Alice to convey the unimaginable violence she repeatedly experiences. Disturbing but fascinating, the book exerts an inescapable grip on readers—like Alice, they have virtually no choice but to continue until the conclusion sets them free. Ages 16–up.

"Some books are read and put away. Others demand to be talked about. Elizabeth Scott's Living Dead Girl will be talked about." -- Ellen Hopkins, New York Times bestselling author of Crank

"I was knocked over by Living Dead Girl. Most authors want to hear 'I couldn't put it down' from their fans. Living Dead Girl is a book you have to put down; then you have to pick it right back up. The beauty of this story is that, though none of its readers will have had this experience, all will feel connected to it. It is told in the rarest of air, yet speaks horrifically to all our imaginations."-- Chris Crutcher, author of Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes and Deadline

"A haunting story of an abducted girl you'll be desperate and helpless to save; her captor so disturbing, so menacing, you'll want to claw the pages from this book and shred them. Brava to Elizabeth Scott for creating such an intense, real, and perfectly painful story of terror, not without hope. Living Dead Girl is impossible to ignore."-- Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of Wake
And finally, we have Sister Wife by Shelly Hrdlitschka and it was awesome! Check it out!

In the isolated rural community of Unity, the people of The Movement live a simple life guided by a set of religious principles and laws that are unique to them. Polygamy is the norm, strict obedience is expected and it is customary for young girls to be assigned to much older husbands.

Celeste was born and raised in Unity, yet she struggles to fit in. Perhaps it's because of Taviana, the girl who has come to live with them and entertains Celeste with forbidden stories, or Jon, the young man she has clandestine meetings with, or maybe it's the influence of Craig, the outsider she meets on the beach. Whatever it is, she struggles to accept her ordained life.

At fifteen she is repulsed at the thought of being assigned to an older man and becoming a sister wife, and she knows for certain she is not cut out to raise children. She wants something more for herself, yet feels powerless to change her destiny because rebelling would bring shame upon her family.

Celeste watches as Taviana leaves Unity, followed by Jon, and finally Craig, the boy who has taught her to think "outside the box." Although she is assigned to a caring man, his sixth wife, she is desperately unhappy. How will Celeste find her way out of Unity?

Torn from the headlines and inspired by current events, Sister Wife is a compelling portrait of a community where the laws of the outside world are ignored and where individuality is punished.

Other Books Ms. Laura has read!

Here is a list of books and reviews that I have done in the past. Check them out! There may be something you would love to read!
So I just finished an amazing book called Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. It's about a boy named Marcus and his three friends who are accused of being terrorist after a bombing takes out the Bay Bridge in California. After they are held hostage for a week and tortured for information, they are set free under the condition that they tell no one what has happened. It was awesome! It has alot of computer tech jargon which makes it take a little while longer to read but it was totally worth it! I have put it on Miss Laura's Recommended Reads Bookshelf so be sure to come in and check it out!!!
Here is the book review for it:
Starred Review. Grade 10 Up—When he ditches school one Friday morning, 17-year-old Marcus is hoping to get a head start on the Harajuku Fun Madness clue. But after a terrorist attack in San Francisco, he and his friends are swept up in the extralegal world of the Department of Homeland Security. After questioning that includes physical torture and psychological stress, Marcus is released, a marked man in a much darker San Francisco: a city of constant surveillance and civil-liberty forfeiture. Encouraging hackers from around the city, Marcus fights against the system while falling for one hacker in particular. Doctorow rapidly confronts issues, from civil liberties to cryptology to social justice. While his political bias is obvious, he does try to depict opposing viewpoints fairly. Those who have embraced the legislative developments since 9/11 may be horrified by his harsh take on Homeland Security, Guantánamo Bay, and the PATRIOT Act. Politics aside, Marcus is a wonderfully developed character: hyperaware of his surroundings, trying to redress past wrongs, and rebelling against authority. Teen espionage fans will appreciate the numerous gadgets made from everyday materials. One afterword by a noted cryptologist and another from an infamous hacker further reflect Doctorow's principles, and a bibliography has resources for teens interested in intellectual freedom, information access, and technology enhancements. Curious readers will also be able to visit BoingBoing, an eclectic group blog that Doctorow coedits. Raising pertinent questions and fostering discussion, this techno-thriller is an outstanding first purchase.—Chris Shoemaker, New York Public Library

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
I totally forgot to write about Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. This book was awesome!!! I really enjoyed it. Anyone who likes books about people with problems, pick this up!!!Check out this awesome book preview as well!:

Check it out:

*Starred Review* Problem-novel fodder becomes a devastating portrait of the extremes of self-deception in this brutal and poetic deconstruction of how one girl stealthily vanishes into the depths of anorexia. Lia has been down this road before: her competitive relationship with her best friend, Cassie, once landed them both in the hospital, but now not even Cassie’s death can eradicate Lia’s disgust of the “fat cows” who scrutinize her body all day long. Her father (no, “Professor Overbrook”) and her mother (no, “Dr. Marrigan”) are frighteningly easy to dupe—tinkering and sabotage inflate her scale readings as her weight secretly plunges: 101.30, 97.00, 89.00.

Anderson illuminates a dark but utterly realistic world where every piece of food is just a caloric number, inner voices scream “NO!” with each swallow, and self-worth is too easily gauged: “I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.” Struck-through sentences, incessant repetition, and even blank pages make Lia’s inner turmoil tactile, and gruesome details of her decomposition will test sensitive readers.
But this is necessary reading for anyone caught in a feedback loop of weight loss as well as any parent unfamiliar with the scripts teens recite so easily to escape from such deadly situations.
This book is absolutely amazing. I started it this morning and it took me about 3 1/2 hours to read! Absolutely fabulous, couldn't put it down!!!

Check out the synopsis:
Until three months ago, everything about sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at an art studio downtown.

But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes far from ordinary.Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe he's trouble, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. Instead she's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch.

But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help – but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something...but he's not the only one with a secret.

So I just finished an amazing book called "The Forest of Hands and Teeth" and the cover looks a little boring but don't be fooled. Check out the review and synopsis for the book. I hope you will enjoy it just as much as I did!
Here is also a link to a video preview of the book...very good!!!

Mary lives in a small village in the middle of the forest governed by the religious Sisterhood and bordered with a fence to keep out the Unconsecrated—a horde of the undead unleashed many generations ago by a mysterious and cataclysmic event.

Life is simple but preordained; Mary fears her betrothal to a man she doesn’t love almost as much as the hungry jaws slavering at the fence links. Under the colonial trappings, this is a full-blooded zombie thriller, reminiscent of the paragon of the genre, George Romero’s 1968 film Night of the Living Dead.

Soon Mary and a small band of desperate survivors are thrown together to outwit the undead and work through their own weaknesses, suspicions, and jealousies. Ryan’s vision is bleak but not overly gory; her entry in the zombie canon stands out for how well she integrates romance with flesh-eating. Ryan’s ability to write a nail-biting escape scene will keep most readers riveted.
Grades 9-12.

Hunger Games!

Well we had our econd book discussion this Monday and discussed Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It was really good! This book also happens to be on my list of books to read by the end of the year! So it was like a 2 for 1!!! My only advice for you is that if you read this book, make sure you have the second one, Catching Fire, on hand as well. I made the mistake of only having the first one and am now waiting to get the second one from the library! These books are super popular so make sure you come into the library to get a copy! Here's a review!

"Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love."-goodreads

The third book in the series entitled Mockingjay comes out August 24th so be sure to get on the list (Ms. Laura is already number 333!)!!!

Fablehaven 3!!!

I finished Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague a while ago, but here is a review...these books just keep getting better and better!

"Kendra and Seth along with Grandpa and Grandma Sorenson discover that someone or something has released a plague that is turning the light creatures of Fablehaven into creatures of darkness. And for the first time, Kendra and Warren must visit another magical preserve called Lost Mesa in Arizona and try to recovery another hidden artifact. Can the plague be stopped? Can the artifact be found? And most importantly, is the Sphinx a traitor?"-goodreads

I also found out that perhaps they will be making a movie of this series...I hope they dont screw it up!!! Check it out!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Book Discussion!

Our First Fantasy book Discussion group will be held on Monday, June 14th from 4-5pm. Our first book is "Looking Glass Wars" Check out the review for it!!!

"The Myth: Alice was an ordinary girl who stepped through the looking glass and entered a fairy-tale world invented by Lewis Carroll in his famous storybook.

The Truth: Wonderland is real. Alyss Heart is the heir to the throne, until her murderous aunt Redd steals the crown and kills Alyss' parents. To escape Redd, Alyss and her bodyguard, Hatter Madigan, must flee to our world through the Pool of Tears. But in the pool Alyss and Hatter are separated. Lost and alone in Victorian London, Alyss is befriended by an aspiring author to whom she tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Yet he gets the story all wrong.

Hatter Madigan knows the truth only too well, and he is searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland so she may battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts." -goodreads

If you are interested in joining us and reading the book, copies are available for check out. Just come to the reference desk and ask for one!!! See you soon!
Ms. Laura

Friday, June 4, 2010

Summer Reading's A'comin!!!

That's right! Tomorrow is the Kick off to our Summer Reading Program: Create, Discover, Explore @ Richton Park Library!!! And our first teen program is on Monday with Teen Crafts on the Lawn! Be sure to come on out and craft it up! Also, all of our books for the Fantasy book discussion are available for pick up so you have enough time to pick up your copy and finish it before the first discussion on June 14th!

Ms Laura is still reading Fablehaven 2 and it is just getting better and better! The problem with Ms Laura is that she gets to buy all the books you want to read and then wants to read those too! I have like 167 books on my to read list! DRAMA!!!

See y'all on Monday!
Ms Laura