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5

Jan

2014

My Top Picks

By Alaska. Posted in Alaska | 2 Comments »

Here are my favorite books I read last year. These didn’t necessarily come out this past year, that’s just when I read them. I decided that would be a less constrictive way to rate them. I had kind of a rough reading year and I didn’t want to focus on only books with a 2013 publication date. Can’t nobody hold me down, oh no, I’ve got to keep on… Oh, sorry. Anyways, in no particular order, here are my favorites from 2013!

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell- I love this book so much I don’t even know what to say about it. My boyfriend John Green wrote a glowing review of it, so I figured I’d check it out. I’m so glad I did. This is easily my favorite book of the year, and her latest Fangirl is great as well. This is an unlikely love story with beautiful characters, it’s an amazing read.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer- This is the first in a series called the Lunar Chronicles and I’ve read the 2nd book Scarlet as well, which is just as good.  These are retellings of fairy tales with a sci-fi twist, which I wouldn’t think I’d be into. This book has the word cyborg in it and I still love it! Crazy, I know. Trust me, you’ll love them!

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys- This one is set in New Orleans in the 1950s and it is an exciting read. I loved the setting and the story was great. The main character is Josie and her mom works in a brothel. There is a death in the French Quarter and Josie is working hard to solve it. Ooh, there are also gangsters in this one, how could you go wrong?

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz- If I could be friends with the characters in the books I read, I’d start with these two. Ari and Dante meet at the beginning of the summer and form an amazing friendship.  I loved them both and loved their families.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey- This book gave me nightmares! Aliens have arrived on Earth and are taking everyone out in waves. Each wave brings a new terror.  The first wave gave me panic attacks even thinking about it. I believe this is getting turned into a movie as well! I blogged about it already, read it here.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick- This one is a little intense. It all takes place on one day, Leonard Peacock’s 18th Birthday, which is also the day he takes a gun to school and plans to kill someone. The book follows this journey and Leonard’s goodbye’s to those closest to him. My favorite character is Leonard’s neighbor Walt.

The Diviners by Libba Bray- I listened to this on audio and it was super creepy. It’s a creepy book anyways, but hearing a serial killer singing “Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on” really took me over the edge. It’s set in the 20s which is always fun, and Evie has been sent to New York City to stay with her uncle after she finds herself in some trouble back home in Ohio. Unfortunately for Evie, she’s there the same time as a serial killer that terrorizes the city.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater- This is the second book in the Raven Cycle; the first is The Raven Boys. After Scorpio Races which I’m completely obsessed with, Maggie Stiefvater has become one of my favorite authors. The series centers around 4 boys from a private school and Blue, a local girl. All are interested in ley lines and Cabeswater.  These things sound boring, but they’re not, trust me! Have I ever lied to you?

 


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18

Sep

2013

Ashes Trilogy

By Cherry Marshmallow. Posted in Cherry Marshmallow | No Comments »

With all this talk of The Hunger Games and especially with Catching Fire and Divergent soon to be released in theaters, I thought that I would add to the list. I haven’t been reading much lately. At all. But I went on vacation a couple of weeks ago and read six books. I was so happy. Two of the books that I read were in the same series by Ilsa Bick. The first book is called Ashes. I was hooked right away. The story is of Alex and you aren’t entirely sure where she is going or why, but one thing is for sure, she doesn’t have much time left. Something mysterious happens that takes out the power and causes people to either instantly die or to become something that they were not before. There are very similar comparisons to Alex and Katniss, and I loved the way that she always seemed to keep her cool and find her way out of situations that should have resulted in death.

The second book is Shadows and the third is soon to be released and I am waiting on the list to read – Monsters. So, I can’t say for sure how the series ends, only that I have been enjoying it so far. It grabbed me right away and made me want to see what happened.

You can find the book here.

When I was looking for a picture to add here and a link to the MCLS catalog, I stumbled onto this blog that you might also like.

And also the blog of the author.

 


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17

Sep

2013

Drawn to the Dead

By Jinx. Posted in Jinx | No Comments »

Despite my love of all things supernatural, I am kind of a wimp when it comes to scary movies. I seriously hide under covers and find myself asking whoever I am watching with if it’s safe to look. I don’t do gore, and I am a total scaredy-cat. Even being an admitted Nervous Nelly when it comes to horror, I love reading about serial killers. One of my favorite non-fiction books is Portrait of a killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell. That book is seriously awesome (she looks at evidence and comes to her own conclusion on who actually committed the Jack the Ripper murders), but I’m getting off topic. I think serial killers are fascinating and terrifying all at once.

So, imagine you have the ability to find dead bodies, particular those who have met their end in unnatural ways. Now, imagine that your small town suddenly finds itself in the hands of a serial killer and you are drawn to the bodies of the victims. This is what happens to Violet Ambrose in, “The Body Finder,” by Kimberly Derting.

Violet is a mostly normal high school junior. Her biggest worry is dealing with her growing crush on her best friend Jay. Well, and the fact that she finds dead bodies. The “echoes” that she feels around the dead are usually of small animals that have been killed by cats or other creatures. When a serial killer starts killing in her town Violet feels compelled to help find the killer.

Violet is an amazing character. She’s strong, way stronger than I would be with her psychic ability. Even when she is faced with finding the bodies of someone horrifically murdered she is able to stay sane and strong. I also love Violets interactions with Jay. He’s her best friends, but lately she has been feeling more than friendly towards him. She doesn’t know what to do with these growing feelings.

Along with Violet, Derting also gives the reader insight into the mind of the serial killer. These passages are so creepy, yet really lend an interesting element to the story. I liked reading Violet’s more innocent voice alongside the thoughts of a heartless killer. Like, I said, so creepy.

I found this book haunting, chilling, and sweet all at once.  I just visited the Goodreads page for this book and read other reviews and was surprised to find that many people REALLY hated it. (If you aren’t familiar with Goodreads you should be! It’s social networking for book lovers!) So, if you have read this book, let me know if you liked it or not. Why or why not? I really loved it and couldn’t wait to read the sequels (Desires of the Dead, The Last Echo, and Dead Silence ) as soon as I finished it.

Haven’t read it but want to know more? Check out an excerpt here.


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26

Aug

2013

Aliens in school buses

By Alaska. Posted in Alaska | No Comments »

I don’t sleep well, never have. Last night for instance, I was up from 2 am on and very bored. So, I did what every sane person does at 4 am, researched homemade laundry soap. I’ll let you know how that goes, I’m sure you’re sitting on the edge of your seat with anticipation.  A couple of days ago, I was in that weird half sleeping/half awake phase where you’re dreaming but kind of aware it’s not real. Know what I’m talking about? Good. Anyways, I was in that state when I had a nightmare about this book! I kind of half knew it wasn’t real, but kept saying “I can’t believe this is really happening, I thought this was just a book! Don’t get on the bus kids!” But, more on the bus later.

The book I’m referring to is The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.  This book is the next big thing in the creepy, dystopian world. I will say, I loved it! I will also say, why are all these books so dark and creepy? Can’t someone write a nice happy book about unicorns or puppies? Seriously, everyone is always dying in these books, everyone!  With all that being said, grab a copy of this one stat! You don’t want to be the one in the cafeteria staring off cluelessly while your friends are talking about which wave was the scariest, they’re all scary!

I guess I should give you some background here so you’re not so confused. This book opens with Cassie running around the woods wondering if she’s the last human on earth.  Aliens have invaded the earth, I know, I lost you didn’t I? These are not your run of the mill, green headed friends. This is much more complicated. “The Others” as Cassie calls them (nice Lost reference) have been obliterating the human race through waves. The first wave knocks everyone off the grid, everything stops and I mean everything. No power, no cell phones, cars stop working, planes stop working mid air and crash to the ground. Creepy right? I don’t know what I would do if that happened. Probably curl up in the fetal position and cry. I panic every time the power goes out. I’m suddenly starving and find myself with no food or water, I clearly need a survival kit!

The creepiest wave of them all involves birds and blood, it’s disgusting, trust me. I already hated birds before I read this book, now I really hate them! They’re little devils with beaks I tell you. Have I said enough? Birds, blood, school buses, no power, stuff gets crazy! Click on the picture below to get a copy!

book jacket

Once you’ve read this one, and you want some more fun, try some of these other horribly depressing books! I’m going to assume you’ve already read The Hunger Games! Also if you’re down with the creepiness in this book, Rick Yancey also has an amazing trilogy with the first book The Monstrumologist which is just as good!

book jacket

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness- This is my favorite dystopian trilogy ever, I’m obsessed!

book jacket

Divergent by Veronica Roth- Being made into a movie released in March

book jacket

Life as we Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

I could keep going, but I’ve done dystopian posts before, I’m sure you’re bored, email me if you want more suggestions!


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14

Aug

2013

The Cost of Wishes

By Jinx. Posted in Jinx | No Comments »

“It wasn’t like in the storybooks. No witches lurked at crossroads disguised as crones, waiting to reward travelers who shared their bread. Genies didn’t burst from lamps, and talking fish didn’t bargain for their lives. In all the world, there was only one place humans could get wishes: Brimstone’s shop. And there was only one currency he accepted. It wasn’t gold, or riddles, or kindness, or any other fairy-tale nonsense, and no, it wasn’t souls either. It was weirder than any of that.

It was teeth. “

In Laini Taylor’s, Daughter of Smoke and Bone,” Karou has grown up with an interesting set of adoptive parents. She knows nothing of where she comes from. What she does know is that she has been lovingly, if weirdly, raised by Brimstone and the other chimaera, who despite their outward appearances as monsters were loving pseudo-parents. Karou knows she has a weird life, running errands for Brimstone trading teeth for wishes, but she doesn’t know anything of her past, or of Brimstones life beyond the door she isn’t allowed to open. When an angel shows up in Karou’s life everything is about to change.

This is one of those books that has been on my periphery for awhile. I kept hearing how good it was. Friends loved it. It was different, they said. Beautifully written, they said. I read the jacket cover and thought to myself, “Meh, it sounds all right.” Then I finally read it.

Wow. I can’t begin to describe how much I loved this book (and the sequel Days of Blood and Starlight. The third book, Dreams of Gods and Monsters is scheduled to be released in April of 2014- way too far away in my opinion.) The writing is beautiful. It’s lyrical and graceful, even when talking about terrible things. The story is truly original. I feel like I can’t say too much because I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say this: If you haven’t read this book, DO IT NOW! You won’t be disappointed.

Want a preview. Check out an excerpt here.

Have you read it? What did you think? Did you love it as much as I did?


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29

May

2013

Alice’s Adventures in Zombieland

By Jinx. Posted in Jinx | No Comments »

One of my favorite college classes was an English class taught by a science fiction fanatic. It was a composition class (research papers and whatnot), and we had to watch science fiction movies and read science fiction books. Watching the Matrix was an actual assignment. So, when it came time to write my final research paper I compared the Matrix to Alice in Wonderland. (Seriously, if you have ever read “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There” you need to compare it to the Matrix. The Rabbit hole? Different colored pills that do weird things to your body? The Cohen Brothers were totally stealing from Lewis Carroll when they wrote the Matrix).

“Alice in Wonderland” has always been one of my favorite books. The Disney movie is a little trippy, but I like it too. In fact, I was pretty excited to meet Alice and the White Rabbit at Disney World a few years ago.

alice and the white rabbit

Of course, we all know I also love anything supernatural so when I saw, “Alice in Zombieland,” by Gena Showalter I HAD to check it out!

alice in zombieland cover

I’ll admit, I was expecting something along the lines of “Price and Prejudice and Zombies” where the Zombies are just carefully added to the existing text of the book. Instead, Showalter’s Alice doesn’t really have anything in common with the classic Alice other than the name. I was OK with that! In “Alice in Zombieland,” Alice has grown up with a father who is terrified of the monsters only he can see. After her families tragic deaths Alice learns her father wasn’t as crazy as she thought. The monsters are real, and someone has to stop them from harming more innocent people.

Alice finds herself drawn to a rough group of kids at her new school. Are they really as bad as people say or are they fighting something more nefarious than other kids? Can she help them rid their town of the ghost zombies that plagued her father?

I LOVED this book. It had everything a nerd like me could ask for. A few “Alice in Wonderland” references, a new twist on zombies, sassy best friends, and a mysterious bad boy. I can’t wait for the second book in this series to come out.

What do you think? Does it sound like something you would enjoy?


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22

May

2013

Teen Book Lists

By Cherry Marshmallow. Posted in Cherry Marshmallow | No Comments »

Here is a list of books that were passed along to me, so I am passing them along to you:

http://www.macmillanlibrary.com/2013/02/26/books-for-teens-class-of-2013


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19

Apr

2013

Libriomancer- Magic in Books

By Jinx. Posted in Jinx | No Comments »

Have you ever founds yourself so engrossed in a book that you felt like you were there? Have you had that feeling where you could smell the surroundings, like you could reach out and touch a character or an object? Have you experienced that moment where the book is so real you feel like you are truly transported to a new time and place? Well, if you have, you might be a libriomancer.

In Jim Hines book, Libriomancer are men and woman with magical powers can use magic to pull object directly from books. Isaac Vainio is one of these magicians. He belongs to a secret group called the Die Zwelf Portenære (The twelve Porters or just The Porters). Porters can use magic to pull objects from books. Isaac is a cataloguer for the Porters, classifying books that have magical potential. His life is pretty quiet until a group of Meyerii Vampires (AKA Sparklers) show up at his library and demand information on why the Porters and hunting vampires. Isaac finds himself thrown into a weird war between the Porters and Vampires, armed only with his magic, his fire spider Smudge, and the wood nymph Lena who comes to his aid.

There are so many reasons to love this book. Here are the top 7 reasons you should read Libriomancer.

  1. It’s set in Michigan – Jim Hines is a Michigan Author and this books jumps from the UP to Lansing to Detroit with other locals in between. It’s fun to read a book where you are familiar with the setting.
  2. The Vampires- There are two camps of magical creatures. Those who are made and those who are created. Most of the vampires in the world are the created kinds who rise to being through books. The vampires that initially come after Isaac are relatively new vampires called Meyerii (or Sparklers) which came into being from the Twilight series.
  3. The nerd references- Isaac is a science fiction geek. Throughout this book are references to Dr. Who, Firefly, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Sherlock Holmes, and many other great books and TV series. I am a total nerd at heart, so I loved all the geeky references.
  4. Johannes Gutenberg- Once again, I am a nerd. In college I took a class called, “The History of the Book,” for fun.  Of course, the history of the book starts with Gutenberg and his creation of a printing press with moveable type. Gutenberg’s invention allowed books to be mass produced far cheaper than previously which allowed books to be more widely distributed. In Libriomancer, Gutenberg is the founder of The Porters and still rules over the magicians. I loved all the references to history and the printing press.
  5. Ponce De Leon- Like Gutenberg, this one pulls at my love for history. Most of you will remember De Leon from History as the guy who tried to find the fountain of youth. Well, in this book he not only found it, but used to make himself immortal. Now he’s a powerful sorcerer who doesn’t get along with Gutenberg but is a kind of ally to Isaac. I love the idea of this decades old explorer serving as a magical adviser.
  6. Smudge- Smudge is a magical fire spider. He’s like a hairy, eight legged, combustible guard dog. And he eats candy which is just cute.
  7. Isaac is a librarian- Ok, this one is a purely selfish reason to love the book. But, as a librarian it makes me happy. My absolute favorite line in the entire book occurs while Isaac is using his librarian skills to find answers the other Porters hadn’t been able to find. “I was a pretty good libriomancer, but I was a damn good librarian.”

If you want to check out the book you can read the first chapter here for free. If you are a total book nerd, you’ll love this one. What would you pull from a book if you were a libriomancer (there are rules- you can only pull something that can fit through the book). Personally, I would be raiding Weasly Wizards Wheezes from Harry Potter. Think of the pranks you could pull with some of those? How about you? What would you pull from a book?


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17

Apr

2013

Ten – Gretchen McNeil

By Cherry Marshmallow. Posted in Cherry Marshmallow | No Comments »

Ten

“It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.  But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine. Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die?”

I really liked this book.  It was a quick read and I was wondering about how it would end.  It reminded me of the Final Destination series.

Check it out here.


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I love the title of this book alone. It seems like an exact contrast to my last post of the Book of Awesome. This version is much more crude and less positive and happy, but still spot on and true. I tried to copy an image of the cover, but that was not working and thus I wanted to punch my computer in the face. You can check out the cover and more information on this book at the link below to our card catalog:

Things I Want to Punch in the Face

I first saw it come across the desk at the library and decided that I had to have a copy for myself. Some of the things listed: pregnancy pictures and many others, made me laugh out loud and nodding in agreement. There is also a blog that doesn’t seem to be completely current, although I am sure that there are still plenty of things to want to punch in the face. You can check out the blog here:

http://thingsiwanttopunchintheface.blogspot.com/


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