Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peeking Out at the World

Hello! I am not dead yet! The delightful Miss Nora is a week (and a day) old already, and I’m remembering the fact that sitting around the house in pajamas for 6 weeks can actually get old. So I’m trying to shake the dust off my brain and think about things beyond the baby while she sleeps next to me in her bouncy chair, and Malcolm is in his booster seat, coloring. Be patient with me, my brain is definitely rusty.

Note: while in early labor I did finish Keys to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson. Good, but not up to her later works I feel. Do you follow Maureen Johnson on Twitter? She is hilarious.

So - things I hope to finish up before the end of the year:
    - review of Pegasus
    - Top Books of the Year post
    - post about a challenge I’ll be participating in for 2011

Stay tuned! We’ll see if I can manage to be coherent or if I’ll descend (further) into rambling nonsense!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baby Hiatus

It turns out that my baby wasn't really planning to stay in forever! The adorable Nora made her appearance at 4 am Sunday, and while she is perfect and utterly wonderful, her arrival definitely requires some adjustments! I'll probably be away from the blog for a week or two while I get used to the insanity of newborns again.

Nora says hello! 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Follow Friday

Follow Friday Question: Do you have an under-noticed author that you think we should all know about?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Review: Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You

I had planned to review Pegasus next, but I wandered the bookshelves to grab some older reads to check out during my leave from work, and this review ended up coming out! Pegasus review up next, as always depending on baby arrival!


Title: Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You
Author: Dorian Cirrone
Publisher: HarperTeen 2005

Summary: Kayla never really thought of her double Ds as "problem breasts." It made them sound like children who wouldn't behave.

Kayla Callaway has prima ballerina grace and something else that most ballerinas don't have: a full figure. Her heart is set on a future in dance. Unfortunately, her proportions just got her cast as an ugly stepsister in Florida Arts High School's production of Cinderella. Kayla's disappointment makes her a prime suspect when the dance troupe receives a string of threatening messages.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Blogger Questionnaire


  1. When did you start your blog?
    • 11/19/10
  1. Why did you start your blog?
    • I have enjoyed other blogs so much and have so many opinions of my own on books that I felt compelled to begin my blog!
  1. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
    • Sill posting even when I’m pregnant and grumpy! ;)
  1. What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger?
    • I’ve actually not been too terribly discouraged yet - I expected to start small and move slowly, so every post and every comment is exciting to me.
  1. What do you find most encouraging?
    • I think the blogging community is wonderfully encouraging! Everyone is very welcoming and helpful and there is a lot of support all around. Book bloggers are just awesome people, I think.
  1. What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
    • I just really love hearing everyone’s opinions of YA books in their own personal voices. I’ve definitely tried to keep my reviews and posts from being too formal or standardized - I think the best thing about blogs I love is the individuality and personalities of the reviewers. I hope I’ve managed to sound like myself!
  1. What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this?
    • I don’t have any strong dislikes - I’ve found other blogs super inspiring and haven’t really seen anything I disliked. There have been occasional posts that I didn’t love, and as I mentioned above they were the posts that weren’t really in the voice of the blog writer, that ended up sounding stiff or formal. I definitely try to avoid that!
  1. Any advice for other new bloggers?
  •     I am definitely too new to share advice! Well, since I just caught myself making a brainless type, I will say double check your spelling. Book blogs are generally read by readers, obviously, and so little mistakes sometimes stand out even more... but then again everyone is very nice and forgiving!
  1. Anything else you’d like to share about your experience?
  •     I’ve lost my train of thought - see below.
  1. Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your blog?
  •     I was just interrupted for 20 minutes because my toddler managed to snag a jar of olive oil from the pantry, take it into the living room and pour it on my couch cushion. 5 seconds ago he was playing with a train, I swear. So, I have a slightly challenging environment to write in at home. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

In My Mailbox #1

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren!

This should really be titled "From the Library!" because, being a librarian, I am all about the ease of getting books from my place of employment and also, it helps me stay up to date on the collection! (Plus, it is cheap! Librarians are not rolling in dough, generally.)

But here are the books I have currently snagged:

I've actually been scoping this one out for a while, but had been having a bit of a werewolf overdose. I just needed a break, but all the strong reviews I've seen for this one have overwhelmed my reticence and I snagged it to make sure I'll have some fun reads on hand once I finally have this baby.

Oh, Robin McKinley. I will love her books forever, especially Sunshine (baking AND vampires?!) and Spindle's End, but I will always eagerly grab her books off any shelf they're placed on - J, YA, or Adult. She is one of those authors.

So that's the books I've got out at the moment - I should really grab more on Monday so that I have enough at home in case I have the baby early. *cue hollow laughter* THIS BABY IS NEVER COMING.

*ahem* Sorry, if you've never been around a 39-week pregnant lady, I tend to be a bit frustrated and snippy at this point. It'll all be fine.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Follow Friday!

Well, I'm just going crazy this morning! I don't usually work desk at this time...

Follow Friday is a great way to find new blogs to read!

Today's question:

What do you do besides reading / reviewing as a hobby??

Oh, I have far more hobbies than I have time to indulge them! I love baking, and crafts of all kinds - crochet, knitting, sewing, quilting... there need to be more hours in the day. But if there were, I would possibly spend all the extra sleeping!

Book Blogger Hop: Dec 3-6

Book Blogger Hop
 "What very popular and hyped book in the blogosphere did you NOT enjoy and how did you feel about posting your review?"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Two for Tuesday!

Every reader knows that terrible moment - the moment a book grabs your attention as it sits on the shelf, you pull it down into your loving grasp only to discover the scandalous truth - it's the second (or even more subsequent, although those usually provide more warnings on the cover) in a series!

This happened recently at the library, where Guardian of the Gate beckoned me over to the new book display in YA, all mysterious and Gothic. It wasn't until I had it home that I realized my error! I managed to snag the first book the next day, luckily. So for your Tuesday pleasure, I present a double review of Prophecy of the Sisters and Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink!

Title(s): Prophecy of the Sisters & Guardian of the Gate
Author: Michelle Zink
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (August 1, 2009) & (August 1, 2010)

Summary: An ancient prophecy divides two sisters-

One good...

One evil...

Who will prevail?

Twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, the girls find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents' deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets.

Lia and Alice don't know whom they can trust.

They just know they can't trust each other.

Monday, November 29, 2010

2011 Debut Author Challenge!

I've decided to take the plunge and sign up for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by The Story Siren! I've read some wonderful debut novels recently, and I'm ready to give even more a chance to impress me next year. It was difficult narrowing down the books I'm most eagerly anticipating - here they are listed in no particular order:

Queen of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Timeless by Alexandra Monir
Rival by Sara Bennett-Wealer
Haven by Kristi Cook
The Demon Trapper’s Daughter by Jana Oliver
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Clarity by Kim Harrington
Memento Nora by Angie Smibert
Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Die for Me by Amy Plum
Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach

2011 is looking like a great year already! Congrats to all the debut authors of 2011 and I hope I exceed my listed twelve!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Review: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

Title: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares
Author(s): Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Publisher: Random House (10/26/10)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Title: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 352 pages, 5/4/10

Friday, November 19, 2010

So what's up with this chick?

Howdy, Internet Stranger! My, you look lovely today. I am super glad to meet you! My name is Karen, and I am a book lover. I read fast, I read often, I work with books for a living and I am passionate about the wonders of reading. Go books!

So, why do I feel the need to tell the internets what I think? It is a strange compulsion, but I think it is mostly that I can only tell my husband the (totally awesome) plot lines to just so many YA novels before his eyes glaze over. And I need to talk about them. So dear readers, I turn to you.

Well, not that there are any of you yet. I just started this blog today! But one of the wonders of the internet is that someday, there will be a you reading this. Hi, you! Thanks for stopping by!

On the right is a link to my Shelfari bookshelf. It goes back several years, and while I've recently tried to make sure and include ratings, I feel stifled by a 5-star model. All reviews posted here will feature a 10 point rating scale so that I can better differentiate between books that were good-ish, meh, and not too bad.

First review should be up on Monday, and I am already hard at work on my top books of 2010 list!

Hello and welcome!

Hi there! My name is Karen. I am an avid book reader, and a part time youth services librarian in Kentucky. I am 27 years old, and will very shortly be a mother of 2 children of my own. My first is a fantabulous 20-month old boy named Malcolm, and the second will make his or her much-anticipated debut shortly! I clearly have terrible timing since I am setting up a blog 3 weeks prior to my due date. 

I have been a fond reader of many book review blogs for a long while now and the itch to create my own was inescapable. While my job and my inclination generally leads me to read YA fiction, I am also a fan of adult fantasy, mystery and romance novels and may mention those on occasion. And of course if a Juvenile fiction or Children's book really strikes my fancy I'll share that as well.

I am eager and frightened to jump with both feet into the wide world of blogging! I am, as you can imagine, rather busy, but have high hopes of regular postings, meaning at least 3 times a week to start. 

Here are a few general guidelines about this blog:

1. All reviews and opinions are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of the library.
2. Books will receive a rating between 0 and 10. A zero will only be granted to books I did not finish.
3. Any books received for free will be specifically mentioned as such.

This list may be altered as my experience grows, and will be reposted if it is changed!