Friday, February 26, 2010

Novel Notes and Teen News: Your Source for Teen Book Information and Other Teen News 2/26/10

New Books on Order

The order for the following books was just placed today. Get your holds in so you can be the first to read these great books!
  • Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve a prequel to the Hungry City Chronicles
  • Rough Magic by Caryl Cude Mullin
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  • The Line by Teri Hall
  • Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness the third book in the Chaos Walking series
  • Little Miss Red by Robin Palmer
  • Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
  • And more…
Featured Book of the Week

Dirty Little Secrets by C. J. Omololu

Dirty Little Secrets

Everybody has secrets, some are just dirtier than others. Lucy does everything she can to keep people away from her home. Inside she has a secret that she will do anything to keep people from discovering. Her mother is a hoarder. She keeps everything—shoes, papers, newspapers, she doesn’t throw anything away. As a result their house is a mess with only little paths for Lucy and her mother to move through. So far, Lucy has managed to keep her secret, but when the unthinkable happens, Lucy must find a way to keep the world from finding out her dirty little secret.

Book Rating Controversy from Barnes and Noble

This week Meg Cabot posted a link on her twitter account to an ongoing discussion about Barnes and Noble’s website,, using ratings from Common Sense Media ( on their book listings. Since that time the blogosphere has been discussing the pros and cons of using those ratings on the site. Common Sense Media(CSM)is a great site for finding out about potential concerns in books, it usually evaluates the books fairly and impartially, while listing both pros and cons for the book. It does have its flaws, but it can be a useful tool for people concerned about things they are reading. What has concerned many authors, like Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen, is that B&N isn’t using the whole entries from CSM. They are only displaying the age rating and the negatives about the books. Check out this article from Publisher’s Weekly:

Common Sense Raises Issues at B&N: Authors and Librarians Object to Book Ratings on Retailer's Web Site

Talk Back: What do you think of the rating systems for teen books?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Book Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay If I Stay by Gayle Forman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
For a long time I did everything I could to avoid any book with a sad or even depressing story. As a rule I still turn to books that I know will end happily or at least not leave me in tears. I have never been a Lurlene McDaniel fan and in fact have always wondered at the devotion of her readers—the ones who can’t get enough of her sad romance stories. I’m not really sure why I picked up this book. It really didn’t fall into the categories I usually choose, but for some reason I have wanted to read this book for a long while.

If I Stay is an emotional roller coaster. One minute you are smiling and laughing, loving the main character, Mia and her family, and the next you are crying because of all she has lost. On a snowy day in Oregon, Mia and her family go on a drive that ends in heartache. She finds herself thrown out of her body as a result of an horrific car accident and left with the choice to live with a loss that will change her life forever or to die.

Mia’s family and friends are touchingly and memorably portrayed. The story smoothly transitions between where Mia is now, and her touching memories of her family and friends. The characters are well rounded and real and love between them and the difficulty of the decisions they make are palpable.

This book made me both laugh and cry. It gave be a better appreciation for a good tearjerker. As I read the book it made me think about my family and what is important to me, and how I would feel if I were in Mia’s position. While I won’t go out of my way to find tearjerkers from now on, I must say I was really impressed with this book.

A must read for those who like tearjerkers!

Cautions for sensitive readers: The main character does have a sexual relationship with her boyfriend although one situation has a rather steamy moment, it cuts off before anything explicit happens. There is also some foul language used in the book although it is very rare. There are some graphic depictions of the car accident that may disturb some readers, but once past that part, the book is pretty tame.

View all my reviews >>

Friday, February 19, 2010

Novel Notes and Teen News: Your Source for Teen Book Information and Other Teen News 2/19/10

Dystopian Futures

Mockingjay (Hunger Games, #3)Uglies (Uglies, #1)The Forest of Hands and TeethIncarceron (Incarceron, #1)UnwindLittle Brother

In my last Novel Notes I couldn’t control the excitement for the announcement of the new Hunger Games book, Mockingjay. Even though it is still months away from publication I have noticed a buzz around the library about the new cover, and of course the perpetual question, “When are you going to order it?” My standard answer is that I will order it as soon as our vendor shows quantities other than zero—once the magic number appears, I promise you it will be in my cart and shortly after in our catalog.

This excitement, however, has piqued a curiosity in me. You see, I never realized before now, how interested we seem to be in these dystopian futures. I knew I liked them and had read a number of them, but I never really thought about how many of the books I read would fall into that category. For instance, in the last year and including Incarceron by Catherine Fisher that I am currently reading I have read eight different dystopian novels. While that number is hardly huge, the number is significant because it seems to just slightly outweigh the other genres. I just thought I was reading fantasy or sci-fi, but it looks like what I have really been reading has been books about dystopian futures. In the last couple of years some of the dystopian books I have reviewed have included:

City of Ember by DuPrau
Little Brother by Doctrow
• The Uglies series by Westerfeld
Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Collins
Unwind by Shusterman
Forest of Hands and Teeth by Ryan
Genesis Alpha by Rune
Life as We Knew It by Pfeffer
Neptune’s Children by Dobkin
Declaration by Malley

It seems like lately I am coming across books about dystopian futures everywhere, and I find myself most wanting to read those. Why? I don’t know, but they are the hardest for me to avoid and the hardest for me to put down. And suddenly it seems like I am not the only one. This month, one of the blogs I follow, Presenting Lenore, is dedicating an entire month to this topic and just this week, I found this article “Apocalypse Now” from Publisher’s Weekly’s email newsletter Children’s Bookshelf about how this genre is on the rise:

Apocalypse Now: Teens turn to dystopian novels

PW was also kind enough to post a list of upcoming dystopian novels that are due to be published in the next couple of years.  Don’t worry dystopian future fans…I printed this one out!

Dystopian Novels for Teens, Present and Future

I guess this genre is slowly on the rise and let me say, I can't wait to see what is next!

Talk Back:  I am going to be working on a Dystopian Futures book list for those of us addicted to this type of fiction.  What books have you read that you would recommend to someone looking for books like the Hunger Games, Uglies, or any of your other favorite dystopian novels?

Fall Sneak Peak

While fall may seem like a long way away from now—especially since we are still digging out from the last snow storms that dumped inches on us, it isn’t that far away for publishers planning release dates for up and coming books. PW was kind enough to offer us a sneak peak at what is coming out from publishers this fall including a new novel in the Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz and a new book for the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. Check out this great list!

Fall 2010 Sneak Previews

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Book Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

After much prodding I finally realized that I was going to have to pick up this book. Many people I respect said that it was fabulous and worth the time, but I found myself dreading another Twilight read alike that would fall short of the original. This book, however, did not disappoint. Enjoy the review!

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1) Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When she was young, Grace was attacked by wolves and rescued by one wolf with yellow eyes. Ever since he has been her wolf and for years she has watched him in the forest not knowing that he was more than he appeared. While Grace was watching him, her wolf, a young man, Sam, trapped as a wolf in winter and a boy in winter has watched her, wanting to be close to her. When a high school student at Grace’s school is mauled by wolves, Grace and Sam’s fates begin to entwine as never before.

I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical when I first started reading this book. On a lot of levels it reminded me of Twilight and I was afraid that it was going to be another sappy werewolf/human girl romance. Shiver surprised me though. While it had a bit of a slow start, its story drew me in and I found myself cheering for the characters and hoping everything would work out. The ending even felt right. Stiefvater found the perfect moment and the perfect words for the ending of Shiver and although I know there are more to come (Linger due out in July), I felt that this one had a satisfying ending. Stiefvater’s language is poetic and her descriptions lush and vivid. Her characters are likable, yet flawed and feel like real people. The mystery pulls you through the novel and leaves you wanting more. A wonderful read.

On another note, since everything is getting compared to Twilight these days, I do have to say that this one will appeal to those Twilight fans looking for what to read next. I think, however, they will find more here than they did in Twilight.

Cautions for sensitive readers: There is no language in this book, but you will find some violence. It is implied that the main characters have sex, but there are no explicit details that would disturb sensitive readers.

View all my reviews >>

Meg Cabot - So You Want To Be Published

They are writing a story online via Twitter as we speak. Here are the details from Meg Cabot's blog. She wrote the first line, and Twitter users are writing the rest. So far we have fashion, a guy in distress, and brain eating zombies! Who knows what's next. You can participate too... Find out more by following the link to Meg Cabot's blog below:

Meg Cabot - So You Want To Be Published

Monday, February 15, 2010

Win an ARC of Linger by Maggie Stiefvater!

For all you Shiver fans, here is a contest from Maggie Stiefvater's blog to win an ARC (Advance Readers Copy) of Linger the next book in the series. Check it out!

Linger Cover LargeIn Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other.  Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack.  And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.

Comes out in stores everywhere July 20th. Pre-order here.

Enter to win an advanced review copies of LINGER, Sisters Red, The Dead-Tossed Waves, and The Replacement on Maggie's blog.

Twilight Read Alikes Update

We are updating the list constantly. If you look at the Twilight Read Alikes montage on the right side of the page you can see new book covers as we add new suggestions. Newest suggestions will appear at the top of the montage! Keep sending them in!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Question fo the Day: What Books Would You Recommend to Someone Looking for Twilight Read Alikes

What books would you recommend to someone looking for books like Twilight? What have you read recently that compares? Share your thoughts and we may add your suggestions to our Twilight Read Alikes list on the sidebar!

New and Updated! Twilight Read Alikes!

Twilight (Twilight, #1)

I was going through my list of bibliographies and came across my Twilight Read Alikes list that hadn't been updated in a couple of years.  In that time there has been an onslaught of Twilightesque books, and I thought now would be a good time to add some of them.  So here is an updated Twilight Read Alikes list! 

If you have any suggestions for books you think should be added to this list, please comment and let me know so I can make this list even better!

  • Anderson, M. T. Thirsty
  • Atwater-Rhodes, Amelia. Demon in My View
  • Atwater-Rhodes, Amelia. In the Forests of the Night
  • Atwater-Rhodes, Amelia. Midnight Predator
  • Atwater-Rhodes, Amelia. Shattered Mirror
  • Black, Holly. Valiant ** (Modern tales of faerie series)
  • Bray, Libba. A Great and Terrible Beauty* (Gemma Doyle trilogy)
  • Cabot, Meg. Jinx
  • Carroll, Jenny. Mediator: Shadowland * (Mediator)
  • Caine, Rachel. Glass Houses* (Morganville vampires)
  • Cast, P. C. and Kristin Cast. Marked* (House of Night novels)
  • Clare, Cassandra. City of Bones* (Mortal instruments)
  • Clement-Davies, David. Fell
  • Collins, Nancy. Vamps* (Vamps novels)
  • Conrad, Liza. High School Bites* (Lucy chronicles)
  • Croggon, Alison. The Naming* (Pellinor)
  • De la Cruz, Melissa. Blue Bloods* (Blue bloods saga)
  • Fantaskey, Beth. Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
  • Fitzpatrick, Becca. Hush, Hush
  • Gray, Claudia. Evernight* (Evernight series)
  • Hahn, Mary Downing. Look for Me by Moonlight
  • Jones, Carrie. Need* (no series title at time of publication sequel is Captivate)
  • Jones, Frewin. Faerie Path* (Faerie path series)
  • Kate, Lauren. Fallen* (Fallen series)
  • Klause, Annette Curtis. Blood and Chocolate
  • Klause, Annette Curtis. Silver Kiss
  • Leavitt, Martine. Keturah and Lord Death
  • Livingston, Lesley. Wondrous Strange
  • Marr, Melissa. Wicked Lovely* (Wicked lovely series)
  • Maxwell, Katie. Got Fangs?
  • Mead, Richelle. Vampire Academy* (Vampire Academy series)
  • Noel, Alyson. Evermore* (Immortals novels)
  • Pauley, Kimberly. Sucks to be Me: the All-true Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (Maybe)
  • Ryan, Carrie. Forest of Hands and Teeth* (no series title at this time sequel is Dead Tossed Waves)
  • Schreiber, Ellen. Vampire Kisses* (Vampire kisses)
  • Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Tantalize
  • Smith, L. J. Secret Vampire* (Night world)
  • Somper, Justin. Demons of the Ocean* (Vampirates)
  • Stiefvater, Maggie. Shiver* (no series title at this time sequel is Linger)
  • Vande Velde, Vivian. Companions of the Night
  • Westerfeld, Scott. Peeps
  • Wooding, Chris. Poison


*denotes book 1 in a series
**denotes book 2 in a series
( )denotes the name of the series if available at time of publication


Friday, February 12, 2010

Novel Notes and Teen News: Your Source for Teen Book Information and Other Teen News 2/12/10

3rd Hunger Games Book Title Revealed

Mockingjay (Hunger Games, #3)

Although it will still be a while before we can order the anticipated 3rd volume in this series, we finally know what the 3rd Hunger Games book by Suzanne Collins will be called. The third book in this trilogy featuring Hunger Games and Catching Fire will be titled Mockingjay a title that refers to the symbolic bird discussed in the series. For more information check out this PW article:

And for Those of Us Who Can’t Get Enough Hunger GamesHunger Games Movie Anyone???

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1)

Yes it is true! Lionsgate has purchased the rights to turn Hunger Games into a movie. And the best news is that the author, Suzanne Collins, is writing the screenplay! To find out more read this article from Reuters:

Not familiar with the Hunger Games trilogy or why this news has fans so excited? Check out this editorial from Poptimal:

While We Are Talking Movies: The Lightning Thief in Theaters Today

Fans of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson can now rejoice! The much anticipated movie of this terrific series is released in theaters today. Here is a review of this movie by School Library Journal:

If you can’t go to the movie though, come to the library and check out the book!

More Movie News:  Meyer's Breaking Dawn will be made into Two Movies

Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4)

Being the longest in the series it is hardly surprising that the final installment in the Twilight series would end up as two movies.  I only hope they find a good stopping place!  For more info, check out this link:

Radiant Shadows the Newest Book in the Wicked Lovely Series Will be Released Soon

Are you a fan of the Wicked Lovely series? The new book is due out on April 20, 2010. Check out author Melissa Marr’s blog for more information on this popular series, and snippets from the new book.

Talk Back: How do you think the Hunger Games trilogy is going to end? Post your comments here!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winter Escapes: Enter at Harper Teen for Your Chance to Win a Book or an iPod Touch

Do you like free books? Harper Teen is offering a 28 day giveaway for the month of February. You can enter each day for a chance to win a free book and the possibility of winning an iPod Touch. Click on the link below to find out more!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Novel Notes and Teen News: Your Source for Teen Book Information and Other Teen News 02/05/10

Libba Bray Sells New Series

>Going BovineA Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1)

Printz award winning author of Going Bovine and Great and Terrible Beauty, Libba Bray, has sold rights to Little Brown and Company for her new teen series called The Diviners. Find out more here:

Interview With Author Carrie Jones

Captivate (Need, #2)

Did you enjoy the book Need by Carrie Jones. Find out more about her and her new book Captivate in this PW interview.

Coming Soon to the Library!

The DVD for the movie New Moon has been ordered. Get your hold in now!

Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4)

Looking for the next book in Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girl’s series? Only the Good Spy Young is now on order. Get your hold in now!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Book Review: Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Fever 1793 Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a well told story of the Yellow Fever epidemic that devastated the city of Philadelphia in the year 1793. Fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook is our narrator. Her mother owns the Cook Coffeehouse in Philadelphia and Mattie helps her run the place. When her mother falls ill with Yellow fever, Mattie has to learn how to grow up fast and make choices for her own destiny. Mattie is an interesting and likable character. She isn’t perfect and is quite frank about her many flaws. She has a most wonderful grandfather although her mother can be a bit of a trial for her to bear.

Surprisingly I don’t have a lot to say about this book. It was very good, and as far as I can tell very accurate. I am currently reading Jim Murphy’s An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 and many of the events in Fever 1793 are based on actual events. Anderson includes an appendix in the back of the book with additional information about the people of the time and the epidemic.

Cautions for Sensitive Readers: Some of the illness is vividly described, and there is some minor violence.

View all my reviews >>