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Monday, January 31, 2011

January: month in review

I can't believe January is almost over. I've read lots for my challenges and am right on target, I think.

This month I read...

  1. Zombies vs. Unicorns ed. Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (****)
  2. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson (for the grown-up book challenge) (****)
  3. The Death of Joan of Arc by Michael Scott (companion e-book to the Alchemyst series) (****)
  4. Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian (***)
  5. Lola: A Ghost Story by J. Torres (read for the POC challenge) (****)
  6. Across the Universe by Beth Revis (read for the debut author challenge) (*****)
  7. A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner (*****)
  8. All You Get Is Me by Yvonne Prinz (read for the Canadian Challenge) (****)
  9. Matched by Ally Condie (***)
  10. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood (****)
  11. Mail Order Ninja: Vol 2 by Joshua Elder (***)
  12. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (read for the POC challenge) (****)
  13. Gravity Brings Me Down by Natale Ghent (read for the Canadian Challenge) (****)
  14. I Know It's Over by C. K. Kelly Martin (read for the Canadian Challenge. Review coming) (****)

(links go to my reviews)

favourite book of the month: Probably A Conspiracy of Kings. Megan Whalen Turner's whole Queen's Thief series just steals my heart every time. I also really really loved Across the Universe. That was a pleasant surprise.

disappointment of the month: Matched. I was so hoping it was going to be amazing.

reading right now: Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton. So far not bad.

what were your favourite reads of last month? Link me to your round-up posts if you do them :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review: Gravity Brings Me Down by Natale Ghent

When I found out that Natale Ghent was visiting my library, I thought I'd read one of her books so I'd have something to chat with her about. Little did I know that I would love Gravity Brings Me Down so much. 

A smart and thoughtful story about self-discovery, acceptance, and finding friendship — all in the places you’d least expect.
Sioux Smith is sharp, funny, and wry, and is pretty certain that she sees the world of high school differently from everyone else — a belief that is cemented when she makes an uneasy discovery about one of her school’s “popular” teachers. And while she feels alone at her high school and in her unique slant on small-town life, Sioux finds a kindred spirit in the most unlikely of people: an elderly stranger, who has more insight despite her progressing dementia than anyone else in Sioux’s life. What Sioux and “Miss Marple” learn about each other over tea, illicitly secreted wine, and Coronation Street, makes for a novel with heart and grit in equal measure. 

I love books with quirky teens who don't quiiite fit in. They're harder to find than you might think, given that most authors are probably at least a little quirky. Natale succeeds in making Sioux a fully believable, snarky, quirky teen. I enjoyed being in Sioux's head so much that I actually finished this in one sitting. It's packed full of doodles and illustrations that really add to Sioux's already strong personality. 

I think this one is a bit hard to sell to teens, only because there is no 'hook'. There's no short summary like, "teens get thrown into an arena and have to kill each other!" ba-dum ching! That being said, I think if teens pick this one up they'll really be able to relate to it and find themselves in it, so I hope they do. It's been nominated for the 2011 White Pine Award so I hope this will gain it a wider audience. 

Recommended to outsiders, oddballs, and those who don't quiiiite fit in.

(reviewed from a purchased copy)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day in the Life...

Every once in a while I thought I'd post about what it's like being a teen librarian in case you were thinking of becoming one, or just curious. Today was fairly atypical and ridiculously busy but also really fun. 

I arrived at work, packed my car full of Wii equipment and headed out to a branch to meet Natale Ghent who was doing two author visits - at two different branches. I had just finished Gravity Brings Me Down on Tuesday and loved it (watch for a review soon!) so was attempting not to fangirl too hard. I think I succeeded. 

After her fantastic talk, I left the Wii stuff there (we're coming back to it) and we headed out to lunch which was fantastic. It was so fantastic that we were almost late to her next talk but we made it just in time. Cue technical difficulties and now we are running behind. Didn't get the projector up and running but Natale took it in stride. Canadian librarians, if you can get her for your library, she's completely lovely. 

After her talk, I headed back to the first branch to set up for a gaming program for that afternoon. Teens are in the middle of exams so the stress relief of beating stuff up in Super Smash Bros. was intensely needed. Once everything was set up - and this involved running around trying to find an extra extension cord, etc. etc. - and teens were happily either rocking out with Rock Band or smashing stuff in SSB, I left the staff member to handle the program and went back to my home branch where I was helping to run our first ever BYOB club. No, not bring your own booze - bring your own book! 

We only had a couple teens but considering it's the middle of exams, I wasn't surprised. We chatted about manga, k-pop, school cliques, and gangs. Gave my card to both boys and told them to e-mail me if they thought of a manga we should order. While we do have an ARP, sometimes we miss things. 

At that point it was just about 5pm and it was time to go upstairs to my desk and figure out what I was doing tomorrow for Family Literacy Day. My colleague and I worked out what puppet shows we were doing and when we were going to load up my car with the puppet stage, sound system and puppets. 

Time to go home and collapse! Phew! 

Waiting on Wednesday...

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme where we basically whine about the books we want to read NOW. It's hosted by Breaking the Spine

I was flipping through catalogs at work and gave a literal squee when I saw the cover of The Time Traveling Fashionista. Isn't it so pretty?

the premise: okay, so it's a bit out there. Louise visits a vintage fashion sale and meets two witchy saleswomen. She tries on a vintage dress that belonged to a film star and suddenly she's aboard a luxurious cruise ship in 1912. As the film star, she gets all sorts of perks and is having a great time until she realizes she's aboard a certain cruise ship - The Titanic. Yikes. Can she save herself and risk changing history?

why I'm dying to read it: Um, time travel and fashion? Yes please! I don't care that the premise is ridiculous, I think it sounds really fun and like the great premise for a series. Try on vintage jeans - go back to Woodstock!

how long I have to wait: Until April 5, 2011

while you're waiting check out: Get a taste for vintage with Vintage Veronica by Erica S. Perl about a girl who works at a consignment shop.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

I wasn't planning on reading Lost Hero for the POC challenge but then I realized that two of the protagonists were visible minorities - hispanic and aboriginal - so there you go!

Five things I loved about Lost Hero
  • awesome girls - I loved how he writes female characters. The heroines kick ass, the female villains are super powerful, and you DO NOT mess with these goddesses. (I also love Leo's mom, what we saw of her. As a Hispanic shop mechanic, she defies stereotypes)
  • awesome boys - Okay, I have to say it, I loved how Jason respected Piper. He could have easily taken advantage of how Piper thought they used to date, but he didn't (to the point where you, and Piper, were like, 'you could take a little advantage. A kiss would be okay). I also loved Leo and his ridic crushes on demigods (not to mention all his ~issues. What a complex character)
  • mythology - He always makes me want to get out a mythology book and look stuff up and geek out over mythology all day.
  • diversity - not only were our heroes dealing with their demi-god identities, they were also dealing with cultural identities. For Piper, daughter of Aphrodite, being Cherokee is a big part of her identity but her father is often at odds with his two identities as a Cherokee and a Hollywood actor which sends mixed messages to Piper. I really liked how a lot of the heroes were visible minorities.
  • setting - you guys, they came to Canada! :D They were also all over the USA, but Canada doesn't often make a cameo in big blockbuster American books so that made me super happy.
So who cares that it was like 200 pages too long. It was an awesome ride!

(reviewed from a library copy)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In My Mailbox #2

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren :)

This week I got from the library:

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers - a Canadian YA read nominated for the White Pine award.

Swim the Fly by Don Calame - another White Pine nominee. I have to type out an excerpt from the back of this one...

Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Sean and Coop, always set themselves a summer-time goal. This year's? To see a real-live naked girl for the first time. As far as Matt is concerned, they'd have better luck finding the lost city of Atlantis.

lol! This sounds like a fun boy read.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - Yes, I still haven't read this one.

White Cat by Holly Black - I tried to read this when it first came out and it just didn't do it for me at the time. I have Red Glove as an ARC so I thought I'd try White Cat again. I do love everything else Holly Black has done, so she's worth another shot.

I also got some lovely books from Scholastic but as I am at home, I can't quite remember what they were. Still, looking forward to reading those.

Didn't buy a single book this week - I have plenty to be getting on with (though I am rather tempted by Other Words for Love... 80s romance in Brooklyn? So there!)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

(so much for posting Tues & Thurs! Oh well. Figuring things out as I go!)

I've been looking forward to this book for a long while. The premise is fantastic:

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.


I just wish it had been executed better. The thing about writing things in another universe or in the future, or the past, is that we, as the reader in the here and now, get to play anthropologist. If it's written well, we have to sort of muddle around and figure things out. It's part of the fun. Think of A Clockwork Orange. There's lots of strange and new vocabulary but through Burgess' clever use of words, we're able to figure it out.

With Matched, I felt like we were constantly being told, 'this is different than what you know' by the characters who shouldn't know that it's different. It should be normal to them.

For instance, one character says to another something like, 'I hope the train is on time!' and the other character laughs because the train is always on time. Then why even mention it? If it's totally normal, why bring it up? It would be like me going into a movie theatre and saying the same thing even though movies are programmed to start on time. It would be odd. There were other little things too that pulled me out of the story - the characters complain about not having much to do in their leisure time but they've never known anything more. I wouldn't complain about only having 5 movie theatres in my town - unless I used to have ten.

I also find it hard to believe that everyone in this world goes along with the weird restrictions. In Across the Universe by Beth Revis, the people have a good reason for going along with it (which I won't tell you about - read the book) and in Delirium by Lauren Oliver, there IS rebellion but society is trying to cover it up. Maybe there is rebellion that we're not seeing? I don't really buy the whole complacency of the people.

If you can get past the odd world building (another thing - they still use paper for some things even though it's all super futuristic), you might enjoy this book. I genuinely did enjoy the characters and Cassia and Ky's growing friendship, and then romance. I wish Xander had had more screen time. His character fell a bit flat for me. We're constantly being told that all the girls want him but I had a hard time seeing why. I felt that if I had more dialog with him, I might have been Team Xander. As it is, I'm definitely Team Ky.

I don't know if I'll read the next one in this series or not. I like the premise - of being matched with someone but falling for someone else but I feel that this could have easily been written as an arranged marriage novel and skipped on the futuristic premise altogether. I think the strength of the book is in the relationships between the characters.

So in conclusion: Sort of recommended. I imagine that if you're into the dystopian genre, you're going to pick this one up. If you only want to read one dystopian book this year, however, make it Delirium by Lauren Oliver.

(but seriously, how pretty is that cover? Cover love!)

reviewed from library copy

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday...

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme where we basically whine about the books we want to read NOW. It's hosted by Breaking the Spine. Today's Waiting on Wednesday is one of my favourite genres - contemporary romance.

the premise: Do you ever wonder if the celebrity couples you see in the tabloids are actually real? Well, in Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance, the romance between Charlie and Fielding, who play Jenna and Jonah on television, is definitely made up in order to raise ratings on their TV show. When the paparazzi exposes their scam, Charlie and Fielding disappear to get off the radar for a little bit. Naturally, they soon discover that there is more to their costar than they had first assumed.

why I'm dying to read it: I think it'll be a super fun, light read and I also love the trope when people pretend to date and then realize that they're not pretending after all. This seems to be the opposite though - they only realize they're head over heels once they stop pretending. Still, it should be a fun romance in amongst all the heavy dystopian releases this winter.

how long I have to wait: This one is being released February 1st.

while you're waiting check out: If you want to get a feel for the writing style, Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin also wrote Half-Life of Planets. If you're looking for other romances trying to stay out of the paparazzi, I'd recommend Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway about a girl whose ex-boyfriend writes a song about her. Suddenly Audrey is in the public eye and her every move is being scrutinized. I also love the romance in this one!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Blog Schedule

Am trying to settle into a pattern of posting on the blog. I like the idea of posting two reviews a week - On Tuesday and Thursday but don't know if I'll always be able to read two books a week. I did happen to read four books over the weekend, three of which were YA and one that I've posted (All You've Got Is Me). So theoretically I could write up those other reviews and save them for a rainy day...

My ideal posting schedule would be comme ca:

Sunday: In My Mailbox (recap of what books I've bought/borrowed/been given)
Tuesday: Review
Weds: Waiting On Wednesday (What books I'm looking forward to)
Thursday: Review

and then possibly a Friday or Saturday post. Maybe a themed post? Like top 5 whatevers. Or maybe a guest post. Or maybe a book trailer or movie news or whatever. We'll see how it goes.
What do you think, is twice-weekly reviews too ambitious?

Review: Lola: A Ghost Story by J. Torres

Jesse sees dead people, monsters, demons, and lots of other things that go bump in the night that no one else can see. No one except his ailing grandmother - a woman who used her visions to help those living in her small town... the same rural community in all the scary stories Jesse's heard as a child. Man-eating ogres in trees. Farmhouses haunted by wraiths. Even pigs possessed by the devil. Upon his grandmother's passing, Jesse has no choice but to face his demons and whatever else might be awaiting him at grandma's house.

What the summary doesn't mention is that Jesse's grandma's house is in the Philippines. A lot of what makes this story so rich is the folklore from the community that Jesse's family passes onto him. It's through these folktales that Jesse begins to see the gift in what he has always thought of as a burden.

What also makes this story unique are the gorgeous illustrations. They're monochromatic and simple but really effective. The story itself, of Jesse gradually accepting his 'gift', was really moving and interesting too - a good story of family and the things that you may or may not want to come to terms with.

It's classified as a children's graphic novel, but I think it's a good read for anyone. The ghost story part is creepy enough to keep kids entranced but it was the parts with Jesse's family that really moved me. Recommended!

review from library copy

Monday, January 17, 2011

Review: All You Get Is Me by Yvonne Prinz

Things were complicated enough for Roar, even before her father decided to yank her out of the city and go organic. Suddenly, she’s a farm girl, albeit a reluctant one, selling figs at the farmers’ market and developing her photographs in a ramshackle shed. Caught between a troublemaking sidekick named Storm, a brooding, easy-on-the-eyes L.A. boy, and a father on a human rights crusade that challenges the fabric of the farm community, Roar is going to have to tackle it all—even with dirt under her fingernails and her hair pulled back with a rubber band meant for asparagus.

- from

I sort of hate this blurb because sure, that's vaguely what the book is about but it makes it sound a bit hokey. Roar is definitely not hokey. A talented photographer, she's a city girl at heart but trying to make this whole farm thing work for her dad's sake. Her mom fell into a deep depression and started leaving their house for days at a time until finally she just left. Her dad, heartbroken, bought the farm as a way to start over.

At first Roar is skeptical but without meaning to she sort of falls in love with farm life (and so does the reader). The farm is located in California and a lot of the workers are illegal migrant workers. When a Mexican woman gets hit by a developer in an SUV and is killed, Roar's father convinces her husband, an illegal worker, to sue. This gets all the farm workers and farmers up in arms and tears up their little farm community.

To make matters more complicated, Roar is falling for Forest, the son of the SUV-driving developer. They meet at the hospital and then, in the manner of small towns, keep meeting. Through Forest she learns more about his mother and how there's always more than two stories to everything.

Prinz's attention to detail sort of steals the story. I want to see Roar's photos because I can see them so clearly in my mind that it feels like I should be able to search for them on flickr. I really enjoyed hearing about organic farming and aspects of that life that I had little knowledge of like the migrant worker situation.

Also? Can I just tell you how much I loved Roar and Forest's relationship? From the beginning, it's clear that Roar has a thing for him and I love how unapologetically in love Roar is. She doesn't beat around the bush but doesn't swoon annoyingly either. It's just a fact of her life, she's totally head over heels. For instance:

Forest is carrying a box of beets over to the truck, his pale, lean arms straining. He and Tomas are laughing about something, which is also strange since they don't even speak the same language. I am absolutely lovesick for this boy.

- page 80.

It's that whole, 'it wouldn't be special if it was anyone else but since it's him/her, it's amazing' that teens are so good at. Lately I've been reading books where it takes teens a little while to figure out their feelings so Roar's matter-of-factness was refreshing. Their whole relationship, actually, is refreshing. It's just a boy and a girl and they think each other is amazing. They treat each other with love and respect and honesty and I may be pining a little bit now for them. There is some drama - Forest is leaving for NYU at the end of the summer - but neither ever really doubts that what they have is real. It's fantastic.

So if you can't tell, I really enjoyed All You Get Is Me. I fell in love with Roar and Forest and weirdly, organic farming. And you know what? Yvonne Prinz sent me a packet of seeds as a book promo and I'm ridiculously excited to plant them and have wildflowers on my balcony in the summer.

I wish this one was released in the spring because it really does feel like a good summer read. If you can wait that long and savour it then, I think you'll really like it.

(and since Yvonne is Canadian, this counts towards my Canadian fiction challenge! Yay!)

reviewed from library e-book copy

Saturday, January 15, 2011

In My Mailbox #1

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren :)

This weekend I was fortunate enough to attend a great Teen Librarian conference in Ottawa put on by CLASY (Canadian Libraries Are Serving Youth) and the CLA. I met lots of awesome people serving teens and got some books to boot!

I got to meet Deborah Kerbel, YA author, and received Lure, her latest novel. It's a ghost story and sounds fantastic. I can't wait to read it.

A panel spoke about trends in teen literature and booktalked their favourite picks of 2010. The Way It Is by Donalda Reid was a pick and when I spoke with the panelists afterward and thanked them for talking about Canadian reads, they insisted that I take the book to try myself. It takes place in a small town in the 60s and apparently has an amazing romance. Yes please!

While we were in Ottawa, I stopped into Chapters (shocker) and picked up Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You by Peter Cameron - on sale! - and Gravity Brings Me Down by Natale Ghent. My library system is fortunate enough to be having Ms. Ghent visiting with us shortly and I volunteered to show her around. Embarrassed at having read none of her books, I bought The Odds Get Even as an e-book and her first YA title in paperback. Yay Canadian authors!

Finally, downloaded a bunch of e-galleys from the lovely people at Simon and Schuster including Red Glove (you're jealous, I know). While I didn't love White Cat I'm hoping Red Glove will be a better fit for me. The other one I'm really looking forward to is Boyfriends with Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez.

What did YOU get this week?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.
- from
So, time to write an actual review of this instead of mindlessly saying how much I like it (and I have said I liked it to lots of people).

I feel like the main complaint people are going to have with this book is that it's been done. The whole cryogenically frozen space ship where things go wrong thing does seem like a common sci-fi trope. Thankfully I don't read tons of sci-fi so Across the Universe felt really new to me. I was intrigued by chapter one which I read a little while ago. By the time I finished page 111 (which Beth Revis released on the release day), I was on the phone to my local bookstore to have them set aside a copy for me. I picked it up on the way home, devoured it all night and neglected all laundry, groceries, etc.

I liked this book. I
really liked this book.

It's one part science fiction, one part mystery and one part coming-of-age. While I guessed correctly who was behind the murders almost immediately, that didn't stop me from enjoying the story. There were lots of plot twists and lots of dark secrets to uncover and I really enjoyed learning that what I had suspected was actually the awful truth - and discovering new awful truths. It reminded me of reading mysteries when I was younger - you had all the clues to figure out what was going on and if you did figure out before the 'sleuth', you could sit back and enjoy watching them figure it out. Never did it feel like either of the protagonists was slow, however. I felt that both characters were fairly well developed and their uncovering of the mystery followed a natural progression that kept the suspense high.

I have to say that I did really like these characters even when they were doing unlikeable things. I think the switching points of view worked really well, especially at moments of high-tension. Poor Amy's parents aren't unfrozen when she is and so she misses them terribly and feels really alone. I felt that came clear really well. Elder's (for some reason almost typed Ender - must have another science fiction boy on my mind!) frustration and fear at being expected to govern a ship were all very real and understandable.

I would recommend this one to both guys and girls. There's a lot of suspense and science fiction-y goodness that I think will appeal to lots of teens. I think this is going to be (or maybe HOPE it is going to be) super popular. Can't wait to read more from Beth Revis.
reviewed from purchased copy

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Review: Zombies vs. Unicorns ed. Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

Zombies vs. Unicorns is an anthology I've been looking forward to ever since I heard there was such a thing. It didn't hurt that it was partially edited by Holly Black who I adore. Before reading the anthology, I thought I might actually be Team Unicorn. Not because I swoon over unicorns but more because I found zombies to be sort of gross and well, boring. I didn't love Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (forgive me YA powers that be!) and have never actually seen a zombie movie.

That being said.... I think I am TEAM ZOMBIE! What?! How could this have happened?! Well, let me tell you: those were some awesome stories. Love Will Tear Us Apart by Alaya Dawn Johnson might be my favourite. I never thought I'd love a zombie love story so much. I loved Maureen Johnson's Children of the Revolution in which an Angelina Jolie-clone raises zombie children. Libba Bray's Prom Night was also really haunting but in a good way. A sad, but oddly moving story.

That isn't to say that I didn't like the unicorn stories - I did! I particularly loved Purity Test by Naomi Novik - and not only because it takes place in my favourite city, New York. Also really loved Diana Peterfreund's The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn. Am thinking I may have to read her other unicorn stories!

What I really loved about this anthology was that it broke type. There were gross zombie stories and ethereal unicorn stories, sure, but there were also funny unicorn stories and touching zombie love stories (and those were the best ones).

It defied my expectations and made it one of my favourite short story anthologies that I've read in a long while. Definitely recommended!

reviewed from library copy

Canadian fiction challenge

I resolve to read 10 Canadian fiction books. This is my wish list:

1. All You Get Is Me by Yvonne Prinz
2. Gravity Brings Me Down by Natale Ghent
3. I Know It's Over by C. K. Kelly Martin
4.The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
5. The Body at the Tower by Y. S. Lee (this will also double as a non-white protagonist as well)
6. Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
7. Swim the Fly by Don Calame
8. Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

9- 12. HELP!

Suggestions are welcome!

ETA: Great minds think alike! Just Deb is running a Canadian MG/YA challenge so I'm going to be reading my Cdn books as part of that challenge. Awesome!

Adult fiction challenge

This year I'm hoping to read 12 adult fiction books - one a month shouldn't be too hard, right?

Here are some of the titles I'm hoping to get through:

1. The Room by Emma Donnaghue
2. The Girl Who Played with Fire (read Janury 7, 2011)
3. Farewell to Arms by Hemingway
4. Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald
5. A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
6. His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
7. The Charioteer by Mary Renault
8. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
9-12. Help!

Suggestions are welcome!

2011 Debut Author Challenge

I've signed up for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by the Story Siren.

Here are the twelve novels that I'm hoping to read this year:

1. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
2. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
3. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
4. Vixen by Lila Fine
5. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
6. Choker by Elizabeth Emma Woods
7. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
8. Haven by Kristi Cook
9-12. HELP!

If you have any suggestions, I'm open to them!

2011 POC Challenge

I pledge to read (at least) 10 books with people of colour. (Level 4 of the POC Reading Challenge)

So far I'm looking forward to reading...

1. Lola: A Ghost Story by J. Torres
2. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
3. Boyfriends With Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez
4. Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang
5. The Cruisers by Walter Dean Myers
7. Body at the Tower by Y. S. Lee
8. The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

and need to find at least 6 more books to read

New year, new blog.

This year I have decided instead of doing meaningless resolutions that I won't actually keep, I'm going to resolve to read more, read better, and read more diversely. These are my challenges:

Read 10 Canadian titles (preferably YA). As a Canadian YA librarian I really want to be reading more national literature.

Read 10 books with people of colour (preferably YA). This is Level 4 of the POC Reading Challenge.

Read 10 adult fiction books. As a YA librarian I really don't take the time to read much adult literature. I want to change that.

and finally....

Read 12 books by YA debut authors. This is part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge.

I'm going to make separate posts for the various challenges and update them with links to reviews as I read.

Happy Reading, 2011!
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