Book Blogger Hop (4)

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted every Friday by Jennifer at Crazy For Books; it's a chance for book bloggers to link up and explore blogs they might not have found otherwise.

Last week I found some awesome blogs, including:
Ms. Martin Teaches Media
Erika Breathes Books
Rose City Reader
Aisle B
Bookend Diaries
And the plot thickens...
Books and Quilts
Reading with Tequila

And a big thanks to Whitney at She Is Too Fond Of Books and Rachelle at Bibliobabe for their shout-outs (shouts-out?) last week!

To all newcomers, thanks for visiting! Please leave a comment and let me know you stopped by!


Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy by Wendelin Van Draanen

Goodreads Summary: "She is supposed to be in church to get out of trouble...

Sammy is working off some junior high detention time by helping out at St. Mary's, but when Father Mayhew discovers that his ivory cross has been stolen, Sammy becomes the prime suspect. While she's looking for the real culprit, Sammy is amazed to find how much gossip and petty jealousy there is bubbling under the church's serene surface. This is just like junior high!

And school is abubble with intrigue as well. Sammy's in the middle of softball playoffs when her catcher's mitt is stolen. She's sure the hated Heather must have it, but knowing whodunit and getting the mitt back are two different things.

With a cast that includes a trio of singing nuns, a homeless girl in high tops, a former safecracker, and a red-hot shortstop, it's not so easy to tell the saints from the sinners..."

Review: One of my favorite childrens librarians at the library where I used to work LOVES this series. She swears by them. I'm not to that point yet, but I like them a lot.

I don't think they're as funny as she does, but I do agree that they're very well written. I got really in to this one, and I'm fairly stoked about reading the rest of the series.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, fluffy



Book Blogger Hop (3)

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted every Friday by Jennifer at Crazy For Books; it's a chance for book bloggers to link up and explore blogs they might not have found otherwise.

Last week I found some awesome blogs, including:
The Wormhole
Along For the Ride
The Bookshelf Sophisticate
Midnight Book Girl
She Is Too Fond Of Books
Swords for Fighting
~*Loves to Read*~
The Misadventures of Moppet

And a big thanks to Mel at Mel's Books and Info for her shout-out last week!

To all newcomers, thanks for visiting! Please leave a comment and let me know you stopped by!


A Posse of Princesses by Sherwood Smith

Goodreads Summary: "Rhis, princess of a small kingdom, is invited along with all the other princesses in her part of the world to the coming of age party of the Crown Prince of Vesarja, which is the central and most important kingdom. When Iardith, the prettiest and most perfect of all the princesses, is abducted, Rhis and her friends go to the rescue.

What happens to Rhis and her posse has unexpected results not only for the princesses, but for the princes who chase after them. Everyone learns a lot about friendship and hate, politics and laughter, romantic ballads and sleeping in the dirt with nothing but a sword for company. But most of all they learn about the many meanings of love."

Review:I liked this one. It was cute, fairly predictable, and had lots of good feelings. I liked the characterizations about Rhis, where the story was told so closely from her perspective that people would say things to/about her (such as, "you always know how to solve problems" or "you're always with people") that would take her by surprise, and they would take me by surprise, too. Really? She does that? She's like that? Oh yeah, I guess she is... So that was fun.

I do take issue with the ending. It seemed really... perfunctory. "And then... it ended. The end!" And I was left scratching my head, saying, "huh." So there you go. Huh.

*note:* At one point, I had to get up to get a drink or something, and I looked out the window and thought, that's funny. I thought it was raining buckets. Wait, that was in my book...

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, fluffy, is-this-a-kissing-book



The Bad Queen by Carolyn Meyer

Goodreads Summary: "History paints her as a shallow party girl, a spoiled fashionista, a callous ruler. Perhaps no other royal has been so maligned--and so misunderstood--as Marie-Antoinette.

From the moment she was betrothed to the dauphin of France at age fourteen, perfection was demanded of Marie-Antoinette. She tried to please everyone--courtiers, her young husband, the king, the French people--but often fell short of their expectations. Desperate for affection and subjected to constant scrutiny, this spirited young woman can't help but want to let loose with elaborate parties, scandalous fashions, and unimaginable luxuries. But as Marie-Antoinette's lifestyle gets ever more recklessly extravagant, the peasants of France are suffering from increasing poverty--and becoming outraged. They want to make the queen pay.

In this latest installment of her acclaimed Young Royals series, Carolyn Meyer reveals the dizzying rise and horrific downfall of the last Queen of France."

Review: So as I read this, I kept thinking about the movie Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst. Which is kind of cool because she mentions that movie in the Author's Note at the end.

Anyway, while I've never particularly cared for History as a school subject, I've always loved Historical Fiction novels because of what I learn from them (is that strange?). And this one was no exception. I learned a lot of details about Marie Antoinette's life that I hadn't known before, and it made her feel more real to me. Even though I still wasn't entirely convinced by her characterization. I mean, she talks about how people kept telling her to stop spending so much, and she doesn't give me any reasons for ignoring their advice; instead she just says that she kept spending money. I wish there was more to it than just saying, "And then I ignored their advice." :/

Goodreads Shelves:fluffy, is-a-movie, is-this-a-kissing-book, pretentious



Book Blogger Hop (2)

It's that time again! The Book Blogger Hop is hosted every Friday by Jennifer at Crazy For Books; it's a chance for book bloggers to link up and explore blogs they might not have found otherwise.

To all newcomers, thanks for visiting! Please leave a comment and let me know you stopped by!


Top Ten Picks: Books that made me discover my love for reading

Top Ten Picks is a meme hosted by Jillian over at Random Ramblings. She picks a topic, and has everyone create a "Top Ten" list of whatever that topic is. This week, it's Books that made you discover your love of reading.

To be honest, I can't remember a time when I didn't love to read. I'm pretty sure there was a time when I couldn't read, but I don't remember that either. So what I've picked today are books that were special to me as a young reader. (Close enough, right?) Without further ado, and in no particular order, here they are!

1. Baby-Sitters Club and Little Sister books. Pretty much all of my early reading was influenced by my older sister, who is older than me by six years. So my tastes tended to be slightly advanced; I was reading this one in Kindergarden. The librarian at my new school was pretty surprised when I could read these in first grade.

2. Sweet Valley Twins. What little girl doesn't read these, I wonder?

3. Animorphs. I was definitely obsessed with these; I think of it as a "gateway book," as it were, to the Science Fiction genre.

4. The Little House series. Friends, I was definitely obsessed with this series. I read them all in order, and I loved them all A LOT. I read one of the spin-off books (about Laura's daughter, question mark?) and wasn't interested in continuing with those, and I've never seen the TV show, but I LOVED these books.

5. The Vorkosigan series. That's right, it's an adult-level science-fiction series. But I started reading them when I was around 11, and have loved them ever since. My whole family has read them, and we're all pretty big fans.

6. The Anastasia Krupnik books. Do you remember these? I loved these!

7. The Great Brain books. Another series that I ate up.

8. Number the Stars. Before I ever read The Giver, I read and loved Number the Stars. I feel like sometimes I make a big deal about how Lois Lowry wrote this amazing Newberry Book, The Giver, and I gloss over her other wonderful Newberry Book. But I love it.

9. Jacob Have I Loved. Another book that sometimes gets passed over in favor of its author's better-known Newberry winner, in this case Bridge to Terabithia. This one tugs at my heartstrings more, though, and I cry every single time I read it.

10. A Wrinkle in Time. This is one of the few books I can remember reading with my mom when I was young, and it's always had a very special place in my heart.

And that's my list!


Book Blogger Hop

I'm being brave and participating in the Book Blogger Hop, in an effort to get my blog "out there" a little. This wickedly clever feature is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books.com. All you do is show up, put your URL in the linky, and other people can come see your blog! And, if you're nice, you go look at and comment on other people's blogs.

If you're here from the Hop, welcome!


Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Goodreads Summary: "Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her."

Review: This represents the latest installment in my fascination with books about boarding schools. I'm not sure why, but for some reason they rivet me.

Anyway, my reaction to this one was so-so. There were two big "Bad Guy Reveals," one of which blindsided me, the other of which did not. I was so-so on the romance; I guess the angst on Sophie's part didn't quite ring true. There was a little humor, which I appreciated (I find that many so-called "comedies" aren't all that funny), but I would have liked a little more wit.

The pacing of the story felt a little off; I felt like I was just getting done with the first third or so, and realized I was about two-thirds of the way through the book. I felt like the last hundred pages or so were rushed, like the author suddenly got bored of writing. (I can sympathize with that, to an extent. But... you really ought to retain your attention span and fully develop the rest of the story.) On the other hand, maybe I was just expecting a more intricate plot.

One last thing: The little "twist ending cliffhanger" thing you pulled? Yeah, right. I already know there are more books coming. You can't fool me.

**Note on the cover:** It bothers a lot of people, and it bothers me too; what's with the cat?? When you have so few visual elements on the cover, every single one of them needs to be important and significant to the plot. Epic fail, cover illustrator.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, fluffy, funny, is-this-a-kissing-book, popular



NUM8ERS by Rachel Ward

Goodreads Page

Summary (via scholastic. com): "Ever since she was child, Jem has kept a secret: Whenever she meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die. Burdened with such awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. The two plan a trip to the city. But while waiting to ride the Eye ferris wheel, Jem is terrified to see that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today's number. Today's date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem's world is about to explode!"

Review: I liked this one... well enough. I liked it more at the beginning than at the end. I already knew part of the plot from reading reviews and summaries, and once I'd gotten past the stuff I knew was coming, I pretty much lost interest.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, is-or-would-be-a-good-movie, is-this-a-kissing-book, pretentious, thought-provoking

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