Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Reads Giveaway

A few weeks ago I reviewed Jessi Kirby's debut novel Moonglass and gave away a copy of the book. Well, now I am pleased to announce another giveaway featuring MOONGLASS & WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE SUMMER by Jenny Han!!

One lucky winner will receive a Beach Bound prize pack including a tote back and copies of Moonglass and We'll Always Have Summer!!

About Moonglass:

When Anna was little, she and her mother used to search for sea glass, but since they looked at night, they called it moonglass.

Now, ten years after her mother's mysterious death, her father is working as head lifeguard on the same beach where her mother grew up and her parents first met and fell in love. Reluctant to get close to anyone (including her father) and not pleased about having to start at a new school, Anna begins to spend more time alone, running the length of the beach and wondering about who her mother really was. After meeting a lifeguard named Tyler, she slowly lets her guard down and together they start exploring the abandoned houses that dot the beach.

But when learning more about her mother's past leads to a painful discovery, Anna must reconcile her desire for solitude with ultimately accepting the love of her family and friends. Moonglass is a dazzling debut from an undeniable talent.

"I couldn't put this book down. Kirby's voice is fresh and wise, all at once. An incredible first novel." -- Sarah Dessen, New York Times bestselling author of Lock and Key

Find out more about the book HERE and read my review HERE.

About We'll Always Have Summer:

Jenny Han's bestselling trilogy, which includes The Summer I Turned Pretty and It's Not Summer Without You, concludes with an impossible choice in We'll Always Have Summer.

Belly has only ever been in love with two boys, both with the last name Fisher. And after being with Jeremiah for the last two years, she's almost positive he is her soul mate. Almost. Conrad has not gotten over the mistake he made when he let Belly go even as Jeremiah has always known that Belly is the girl for him. So when Belly and Jeremiah decide to make things forever, Conrad realizes that it's now or never--tell Belly he loves her, or lose her for good. Belly will have to confront her feelings for Jeremiah and Conrad and face a truth she has possibly always known: she will have to break one of their hearts.

Find out more HERE.

Conrad or Jeremiah? Take the quiz here....

Check out the trailer for We'll Always Have Summer too!

Fill out the form below for your chance to win the Beach Bound prize pack before June 13th! Good luck everyone!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

In My Mailbox (43)

What a fun week it has been for me! It was officially my last full week of school with students, my homeroom won Field Day and my friend Meg from Muses of Megret hosted our first annual Summer Book Swap! Meg is an amazing stay at home mom, is uber creative and you should totally check out her blog!

Thanks, as always, goes to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting this MME. I hope you have all had a great week.... I know some of you went to BEA this past week, so you definitely did! Here is what I got this week:

For Review

Steampunk!: An Anthology fo Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories by Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant
The Flint Heart by Kathering Paterson & John Paterson
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd)
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen


Come and Find Me
by Hallie Ephron
The Anti-Romantic Child: A Story of Unexpected Joy
by Priscilla Gilman
The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern
Graveminder by Melissa Marr
Unless It Moves the Human Heart: The Craft and Art of Writing by Roger Rosenblatt
Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan
Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Girlie-Girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Pages: Hardcover, 344 pages

Publisher: Penguin (Philomel Books)

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously—and at great risk—documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

This is a book that once it has been read, it will stay with you for the rest of your life. I teach the Holocaust every year with Anne Frank and various other texts, but I will now be adding this amazing debut novel to the repertoire of resources that I will use. I have to admit that I am among those who knew very little about the suffrage of the Latvians, Lithuanians and others whom Stalin tortured and eliminated in the 1930’s and 40’s. This amazing debut novel has opened my eyes to this part of history and has inspired me to learn more and not let the suffrage of the people go forgotten.

Sepetys has done an amazing job telling the story through the eyes of Lina and her suffrage on the 6,500 mile journey through horrid conditions, the spreading of diseases, loss of life both naturally and by the hands of the soldiers all while she is finding out who she is and what strength she has in these conditions. The raw emotion throughout the novel was what made the novel (amongst other things) such a great read. History cannot be altered and must be authentic and the fact that Sepetys’ family experienced this and that she researched so thoroughly for this novel draw you in and you not only become emotionally invested in Lina’s life and experiences, you also learn what these people went through during this horrific time.

When I took my 8th grade students to Washington, DC a few weeks ago we were able to visit the Holocaust Museum. I was beyond thrilled to see this novel on the shelf and my students bought all of their copies off of the shelf. Most of those read it on the way home and we have had amazing conversation about it. I love books that allow me the opportunity to do that. Visit Ruta HERE to find out more about her journey through research and get other bonus material for the novel.

This video is a must see as well. Find out more about the novel and hear from Sepetys first hand on the novel and its importance to her.

Ruta Sepetys discusses her upcoming novel, Between Shades of Gray from Penguin Young Readers Group on Vimeo.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Check this out... A Need So Beautiful Trailer

Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become--her mark on this earth, her very existence--is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.

Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny--no matter how dark the consequences.

Check out the trailer for this amazing novel, too!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

In My Mailbox, Contest Winner, and Exciting News!!

Well I don't know about you guys, but this has been a great week for me for a multitude of reasons. I got great books, had time to read, counted down the days until the end of the school year and....


Yes, you read that right! The movie The Hunger Games is being filmed right up the road over the summer and they are casting extras, so I simply HAD to send my info in to be an extra. This is not guaranteed, but I sure am hoping so!!

Check out The Hob to keep up to date with filming news and much, much more.

Now on to other news. The contest winner for Moonglass by Jessi Kirby is...

Congrats Erin! I sent you an email so check that and get back to me. Congrats again :)

As I said, I got some great books this week and here they are...


Breaking Point (I-Team #5) by Pamela Clare

Abandon by Meg Cabot

For Review:

Cut by Patricia McCormick

all these things i've done by Gabrielle Zevin (look at the cool pack!!)

My Life Undecided by Jessica BrodyPopullazi by Elise Allen

Don't forget to let me know what you go this week!! Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Review: Hotel No Tell by Daphne Uviller

Hotel No Tell

Daphne Uviller

Genre: Adult Fiction

Pages: Paperback 288 pages

Publisher: Bantam Books

The smart and sassy detective Zephyr Zuckerman is now armed and undercover in a Greenwich Village hotel where mysteries—from garbage-grabbing guests to the reservation system—lurk around every corner.

Now working as a junior detective with the New York City Special Investigations Commission, Zephyr’s gone incognito as a concierge to find out who laundered a hundred grand off the hotel books—and why. But the discovery of a prone, flush-faced guest gasping for air in room 502 only hints at the sinister goings-on inside this funky establishment. While the rapid response of the fire department leads to a sweaty date with a smooth-talking, rock-climbing rescue worker, Zephyr finds herself even more hot and bothered by an attempted murder on her watch. Could the smart-mouthed Japanese yenta across the hall know more than she’s telling? How are cryptic phone calls from a mysterious corporation linked to the victim in 502?

Under pressure and overwhelmed, Zephyr soon finds that a concierge cover is no protection in a place where crime, like the city itself, never sleeps

Zephyr has a lot on her mind. Her parents and ex are after her to have kids, her job is falling apart around her, her best friends have either moved, are convinced they are cursed or are trying to find balance while married to a movie star. She doesn’t know which way to turn to put out the fires that seem to surround her and seem to grow as the days go by. Yet she does find balance in all the chaos and finds out more about herself in the process. I love that she is so smart and sassy but she never seems to give herself enough credit. She is such a relatable character and so very well written in that matter. Being a detective has never crossed my mind, but I think that if I were to be one Zephyr and I would have to work together (or we may even be the same person)!

I loved the dynamics between Zephyr and the other characters (major and minor) were all integral parts of the plot and left me laughing throughout the novel. I LOVED Lucy’s dynamics with her mother in law. Lenore and Lucy’s relationship had me laughing and ready to pelt her all at the same time. I hope that Uviller keeps the series going because I would love to see the next chapter in Zephyr’s life unfold!

Visit Daphne HERE to find out more about her books. You can also enter the contest at goodreads HERE for a copy of the book.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hush, Hush goes graphic...

I announced a few weeks ago that Becca Fitzpatrick's debut novel Hush, Hush was going to be turned into a graphic novel by Sea Lion books. I got the email with this first peek into the novel. Check out more HERE from MTV. If you haven't read Hush, Hush or the second novel in the series, Crescendo, make sure to check them out HERE and HERE.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Genre: YA Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: Hardcover, 486 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Have you ever read a book that you couldn't stop reading? No matter if the house was on fire, you kids were screaming, you students were testing and needed a sharpened pencil... well that is exactly what happened with this book. I picked it up off of my shelf on the way out the door knowing that my students would be testing and I would need something to read inbetween walking around, giving out pencils, etc. Well I definitely didn't make the mistake of picking up the wrong one this time. My students were completely shocked that I read 2/3 of it while they were testing for 3 hours. I was completely sucked in.

Tris' character as well as the others (I will come back to Four in a minute) were so amazingly written within such an intricate plot full of twists and turns and such creativity that my mind was completely blown from the start. Roth has done an amazing job creating a dystopian world where society seems to have found balance within its five factions, but life is crumbling down around Tris and the world that she knows. Tris has a difficult decision to make when it comes to choosing a faction all while she has learned something that can completely change her life. When she does make her decision, she meets someone who will help her in more ways than she can imagine and even opens her heart to a brand new concept.

I knew when I was a few pages from the end that this was going to be one that I was going to be ticked off at the ending because I would want more. I was right. After I finished (later that day), I tweeted that I was in love with the book and someone tweeted back that they had a character-crush on Four. I completely agree. I love reading a book where I feel like I have experienced everything right with the characters and can understand their pain, joy, madness, fear and every other emotion. That is exactly how I feel with each of the characters and cannot wait to read the second installment of this series.

Read more about Veronica Roth on her website here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

In My Mailbox (41)

I hope you have all had a great week so far and continue to have an amazing one! This school year is winding down and summer cannot come fast enough! Thanks for coming by to see what I have for the week. Don't forget to leave me a message so I can drop by your blog too :) Thanks as usually to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting this MME!

For Review:

by Jessi Kirby (Review and Contest up HERE)

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

Hotel No Tell by Daphne Uviller

This Girl Is Different by JJ Johnson


The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

House Rules by Jodi

The Boy in Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Battle Dress by Amy Efaw

A Change in Altitude by Anita Shereve

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Review: Moonglass by Jessi Kirby and GIVEAWAY!


Jessi Kirby

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Pages: Hardcover, 244 pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

From Jessi Kirby, a debut novel about confronting the past in order to move ahead.

I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now, I've thought maybe my mother drowned in both.

Anna's life is upended when her father accepts a job transfer the summer before her junior year. It's bad enough that she has to leave her friends and her life behind, but her dad is moving them to the beach where her parents first met and fell in love- a place awash in memories that Anna would just as soon leave under the surface.
While life on the beach is pretty great, with ocean views and one adorable lifeguard in particular, there are also family secrets that were buried along the shore years ago. And the ebb and flow of the ocean's tide means that nothing- not the sea glass that she collects on the sand and not the truths behind Anna's mother's death- stays buried forever

What a great debut novel from a fellow teacher! I always love when I read a book and the author is a teacher because it lets me know that I can do it too! I was excited to receive this one because I had heard great things about it and knew it would definitely be one to put on my classroom shelf. Kirby’s writing captivates you from the beginning and before you know it you are 30 pages ahead of where you were it seems like five minutes ago. I love books like that.

Anna is dealing with so much as a teenager that some teens can relate to and others are blessed to not have an inkling what it is like to grow up not only without a parent but also with an enormous amount of guilt. The characters in this novel are so wonderfully written that you feel as if you are Anna and even her dad experiencing the ups and downs of everything life throws at them. This is definitely one I will not be able to keep on my shelves (I already have it promised to one when I put it up tomorrow) and love it when I come across books like that.

Visit Jessi here for more about her book, signings and other fun stuff.



For your own copy of this great book, simply leave a comment below telling me one of your favorite beach memories and leave your email address. The contest will close on May 20th at midnight EST and the winner will be notified on May 21!! Good luck everyone!

Blog Design by Imagination Designs
Graphic by Giftseasonstore