BRRRRR: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

rocking awesome graphics for a rocking awesome book!!

rocking awesome graphics for a rocking awesome book!!

WARNING:  This book is bloody, bloody stuff, not for the feint of heart or those folks under the age of 13.

Tana is a normal teenage gal;  she’s got guy problems and some well, family issues…..  However, she also has some stuff going on that, well, maybe isn’t so typical.

Stuff like… oh… supernatural undead folks that were infected by a crazy romantic vampire when Tana was six.   Most of the vampires were contained in Coldtowns, located all over the United States… but not all of them.

In the first pages of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, Tana is doing normal teenage stuff (partying and drinking) and we find her in the bathroom passed out (okay, not EVERY teenage girl HAS to get drunk, but, you get the idea).   When she finally comes to, she decides to venture out of the bathroom and into the kitchen to get a drink of water.  She passes through the hall and into the kitchen which adjoins the living room.  Nobody stirs, and she assumes everyone is passed out from too much alcohol.

She gets a glass of water then goes to see who is awake.  That’s when she realizes that the girl she thought was asleep on the chair has her eyes open and ragged puncture wounds on her neck.  She finds the same with the rest of the party.  All of the people her age that she has ever known are dead.

Like most teenagers faced with a crisis she decides to take the high road.  She hustles into the bedroom to retrieve her coat and car keys and to get her tukus out of there before the vampires come back, but when she goes into the bedroom she finds two figures tied up, alive!  The first is her ex-boyfriend Aiden, who when he is released tries to bite Tana due to a Vampire infection, the other being she finds is an already turned vampire named Gavriel.

Tana is then faced with a decision, to kill Gavriel and leave Aiden for the vamps or drive to Coldtown, where all of the Vampires are contained,  to drop off Gavriel and Aiden.  Tana can’t bring herself to kill this vampire (he IS kinda’ cute) and so decides on the latter option.

Tana must then drive across the country to the nearest Coldtown, a very dangerous drive with a bloodthirsty infected teen and a vampire that is addicted to blood.

What’s a girl to do?

WOWWWW!!!!   I loved how Tana changed and developed throughout the story.  The book was  really bloody and I can see it being popular among the Twilight Saga fans.  There are no werewolves in this book, or marriages or baby having (like Twilight) but it has several unexpected turns, and Tana’s snarky sense of humor and her confidence grows as the story progresses.  I don’t generally love bloody books, or books with death and violence, but this one’s plot drew me in and kept me turning the pages.  Definitely not a book for bedtime or dark rooms or those of us frightened by things that go bump in the night, but maybe, a good Halloween read for those of the PG-13 crowd.

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.Izzy :Z

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Because THEY said so or what your parents might say...

Because THEY said so or what your parents might say…

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Because they said so (what your parents would say:)  Really bloody and violent and with some nightmare inducing stuff.  Some sexy-ish parts and drinking and lots of vampire fights and vampire staking’s.  I wouldn’t recommend this to the weak-hearted or anyone under 13…

Magic Marks the Spot

untitledImagine that you lived in a world in which magical artifacts existed.  Now, imagine that said artifacts suddenly went missing and were being held by nasty folks with bad intentions.  What if you OWNED one of those artifacts and it was stolen right out from under your NOSE!?!  You’d be devastated, right?  To find it gone? I know I would be… I might even do anything to get it back.

The main character in Caroline Carlson’s The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot, is Hilary Westfield, a swash buckling, grog swilling, dueling girl pirate who wants nothing more than to enter into the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates (referred to, for the purposes of this review as VNHLP) but finds herself denied because she is a GIRL!!!  Also, I guess it couldn’t have helped that her father is Admiral Westfield, the most anti-pirate admiral around.

Admiral Westfield is very determined to pack his unruly young daughter off to Miss Pimm’s finishing school for delicate ladies, in an attempt to have her be the sort of hoop skirted, gossiping, high society girl that the majority of young misses would delight in becoming.  Hilary, however, will have none of it and repeatedly tries to escape.

One day, when masked robbers levitate a very old treasure map out of Admiral Westfield private study, Hilary sees her chance to get out of Miss Pimm’s and to show the VNHLP that she is perfect pirate material.  It’s possible, however, that on the way she might poke her nose in a few things too big for her to handle alone.  Good thing she has a few trusty sidekicks (doesn’t every girl pirate have trusty sidekicks?).

I really loved this book; its witty dialog and spot on characterization had me cackling in the middle of class (which happened to give away my feeble attempt to conceal my avid book reading during Algebra 1… GAH!!  FOILED!)  This one’s a keeper shelf for sure with a publishing date of 9/13.  A perfect uplifting book full of underdogs and valiant quests.  (Also, it had the added affect of changing my future career choice from President to heroic swashbuckler… ARRRRR…)

Izzy :Z

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Because THEY said so or what your parents might say...

Because THEY said so or what your parents might say…

.Because they said so (what your parents would say:) nothing, nada, zilch, zip, zero… unless they find your running around the house wearing an eye patch, yelling ARRRRRR and brandishing a pretend cutlass disturbing.

Dead Ends by Erin Jade Lange

Dead Ends

My very first day at the Montessori school where I attended Primary through 4th grade,  as we were lining up to go inside after recess, a girl jumped in front of me in line.  As if that wasn’t insult enough, she brought along her friend, not even saying excuse me!   I, being 5, was QUITE put out, as I am certain you could guess, and I proceeded to shove her, quite forcefully, out of line.

Later that day I was called into the office of the headmaster, Mr. Chami.  After I was seated I was given a talk about school rules and as is usual for our Montessori school, I was asked to explain my motives for pushing this girl, who will remain unnamed to protect the innocent, out of line.

My answer to this question was, “She butted and I didn’t like that so I shoved her out of line.”

He asked me to not do it again, even if she had butted, because we were all going to the same place.

I then replied, “The shoving will continue until the butting stops,” and sat until I was dismissed.

In this way I can sympathize with the main character of Erin Jade Lange’s novel Dead Ends, Dane, for violently solving problems that might otherwise stay unsolved and for seeking justice where it might never be found.

Dane Washington goes to Twain High School, he doesn’t know who his dad is, and usually goes to the principal’s office multiple times a month for detentions.  Also, whenever he is mad he gets an itch in his palms that doesn’t go away until he hits something (Doesn’t that just sound like fun?)

One day, as he is walking to school, he realizes that he has a kid following him.  Dane tries everything to get rid of this kid, jumping flower bushes, going between yards, crossing streets, but the kid just keeps following him.

Once at school Dane confronts the stalker, only to realize that the kid following him as Down’s Syndrome, is named Billy D, is in Dane’s grade, and was following him to get out of getting beat up by other bullies.  When they walk into school together the principal calls them into his office and appoints Dane as the guide of Billy D, because Billy D just moved to Dane’s neighborhood.

This soon turns into an unlikely friendship, where Dane’s secrets are slowly unraveled as he becomes a friend and champion, and the quest to find Billy D’s dad commences.

Erin Jade Lange did an AMAZING job on this book.  I liked the story line, the mystery of the Atlas, and all of the riddles to try and find Billy’s dad. It has funny snark, humor, and action (without being over the top).  It has riddles and mystery and a touching friendship between two unlikely teens.  Written in first person, from Dane’s perspective, there is a toughness to the voice, but also a gentleness and a quest for right and justice.  It’s a keeper.

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Izzy :Z

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Because THEY said so or what your parents might say...

Because THEY said so or what your parents might say…

Because They Said So (what your parents might say):  There are some violent fight scenes but there is no death.  There are some sexy mentions (though not actual HAPPENINGS) and there is quite a bit of bad language but it is written from a teen boy’s point of view, so it isn’t surprising or inappropriate.  Reading humor is of average level and is easily understandable.  I’d say 12 and up are good to go on this.

The Carpet People

The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett

The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett

Have you ever imagined what might be inhabiting your Carpet?  I read that it MAY be the 1.5 million flakes of skin that we shed over the course of an hour.  However, in this book, The Carpet People by Terry Pratchet (age 19) and Terry Pratchet (age current), there is something quite unusual in his carpet.

In Terry Pratchet’s Carpet, there lives a hidden society of small dwellers that cannot be seen by anybody; they live in the kingdom of Dumii, which covers over 1/3 of the Carpet.  Every year these little carpet people are summoned from far and wide across the Carpet to Tregon Marcus, a town in the Carpet, for the Counting.  The Counting is a census of sorts.  The Emperor of the land of Dumii calls  together all of the tribes of the Carpet to be Counted.

“Now what is counted?” you may ask.

The Emperor would answer,”The number of people, the number of animals and furs one person has, and so forth.”

But one year, no one is called to Tregon Marcus to be Counted.  Not one little dweller is summoned.

Enter the Munrung tribe.

The Munrung tribe is a nomad tribe that wanders in and out of the land of Dumii.  Now, the people of the Munrung tribe do not care a wit for the politics of the Dumii emperor but always comply with the messenger that is sent to call them to Tregon Marcus.  They aren’t really that miffed when no messenger is sent…  that is until Fray strikes.

Fray, is our feet, stomping on the people of the Carpet and smashing their villages and communities (poor form, us).  Fray isn’t really the worst part though; what is worse is what comes after Fray.

The Mouls are what come after, riding on vicious Snargs (which MAY be carpet beetles).  But when Fray strikes the Munrung tribe, the Munrung tribe strikes back, setting off a chain of events that takes the reader on a wild adventure through the kingdom of the Deftmenes, a dinner with foreseeing Whights, and an epic battle to save the land of Dumii.

I REALLY loved this book, its snarky humor and mystery pulls the reader in and envelops them into a truly wonderful world; a world that exists right under our noses.  An interesting side note:  this book was written twice, once in Terry Pratchet’s youth, and then again in his 40’s when it was re-released after his current successes.  There are excerpts from the original book in this current version, that I snatched at Book Expo, and though I’m sure the original was lovely and fine, the book now, just as it is, in MY eyes is NEAR PERFECT!!!!!  I laughed, I’ve quoted, I’ve read it multiple times!  It’s a KEEPER for SURE!
until next post,

Because THEY said so or what your parents might say...

Because THEY said so or what your parents might say…

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Because They Said So (what your parents would say):   NOTHING (though, if they are reading it, they might laugh).   There is not a reference to anything, unless maybe they object to reading about clubbing people on the head.  I would recommend it to those readers ages 8 and up, due to some humor that needs age to understand.

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Izzy :Z

Update on all things becauseireadso

Wow, it has been some CRAZY ride.
When last we saw our heroine (me), having been interviewed by news publications and shows across the land,
moi being interviewed by NBC channel 8!!!
she found herself nose deep in books
books books and guess what!!! MORE BOOKS!!

books books and guess what!!! MORE BOOKS!!

and gratitude and awaiting council with the librarians of Spring Grove Area School District.
4 the WONDERFUL librarians of SGASD

4 of the WONDERFUL librarians of SGASD

More books came in from Harper Collins and monies and credit at a local book exchange were donated.  Many a gallant dame and knight sent books, magazine subscriptions, and those of the writing sort offered school visits and writing seminars.
Because I Read So’s logo and mission were pasted in books and books and books and then more books.
my logo is now proudly on every single book donated!!! thanks everyone for the gallant effort.

my logo is now proudly on every single book donated!!! thanks everyone for the gallant effort.

And then came the librarians.
Our heroine (me) was jumping up and down and might have squealed just a little at the expression on the librarian’s (also our heroines) faces when they saw the tables of goodies.
They giggled and rushed the tables like children at Christmas.
They made piles
One of the many piles made by the librarians.

One of the many piles made by the librarians.

and found wanted treasures
This is a book my SGI librarian has been wishing for.

This is a book my SGI librarian has been wishing for.

and played rock/paper/scissors over many a single copy.
rock paper scissor
They are a good natured, if slightly aggressive type, at least where their students reading options are concerned… I really like them 🙂
After all of that excitement, our gal (giggle… me again) was in dire need of a vacation and so traveled south to warmer shores and white water.
And then… she (or if you are following… that would be, yours truly) was packed off to school.  Geesh, you’d think, after such a crazy-busy summer, an extra week of vacation would be granted.  But the evil King and Queen (my parental units… blech) vetoed such antics.
Thhhpt. 😛
And so, that brings us present, and back to book business…
next up:
The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett and Terry Pratchett the later.
Izzy :Z

The Name Of This Book Is Secret

Well… this was one REALLY fun read!  I really love how the narrator interacts with the reader throughout the book.

Another aspect of this book, and in all the books in the series, is the fun-ky (a mix of funny and funky) humor, that I have come to love!

This book was amazing, and the plot is an absolute work of art.

Cassandra, the main character, has a phobia.  Really, she isn’t afraid of the actual catastrophes. She is just afraid of not being prepared for one…

To conquer that fear she is ever so prepared, and has loaded her backpack with numerous supplies to live through any disaster.

A little odd, maybe…  but when a mysterious box called the Symphony of Smells shows up at her Grandfather’s store, her backpack may come in handy and the crazy roller coaster of a book begins..

The name of this book is secret cover!

It seems that the Symphony of Smells came from a box found at a deceased magician’s house…. However nobody seems knows how he died. All they knew was that after his death there was a slight smell of rotten eggs (GROSS)…. and the box showed up at Cassandra’s grandfather’s antique shop.

This book had me CACKLING on the floor laughing!!!  Definitely one of my favorite books, and series of all time.  This earns a place on the keeper shelf!  There is a great deal of fun-ky humor and nail biting suspense in these books.  I hope that you guys enjoy this book as much as I did!

Izzy :Z

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Because THEY said so or what your parents might say...

Because THEY said so or what your parents might say…

Because they said so (what your parents would say)  :  Really aside from a mention of sucking somebodies brains out through their nose and a not at all graphic kidnapping, there is NOTHING to be worried about at all…  Well, of course there is a secret cult in this book about people who want to find the secret to living forever and they are kind of creepy, but not nightmare inducing in the least.

TOTALLY EXCITING STUFFS!

So much has been happening here at Because I Read So!   So much stuff, really, that I am losing track of it all!

On Thursday, THESE people came to my HOUSE…

birs news

and then to the school district offices and THEN to the SCHOOL to do a piece on Because I Read So!  They were so incredibly nice and I was so absolutely crazy NERVOUS and just kept thinking… “Really?  ME?!?” and… “Is that camera looking up my nose!?!”

Me... A total nervous WRECK!

Me… A total nervous WRECK!

On Friday of last week, my Dad and I stopped by the Random House offices in Westminster, Maryland and left with cartons and cartons of YA and Juvenile BOOKS!  Our car rode very VERY low!

Random House ROCKS Friday!

Random House ROCKS Friday!

On SUNDAY, THIS  appeared in the York Daily Record!  That’s where I first read the article about library funding!

And THEN… on Monday, WGAL 8  showed that interview with ME (ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh) (oh, and my mom a little too 🙂 ) about Because I Read So and the fantastic people that have donated already.  You can watch it by clicking on that linky thing up there.

I am just waiting for someone to PINCH ME and wake me up!  I can’t believe it’s really WORKING!!!  Oh, and also, I just cannot WAIT to see the librarian’s FACES!!!  And… to take out some of those BOOKS!  I have ITCHY library book CHECK OUT fingers!

THANK YOU SO MUCH to EVERYONE for making this happen and for making a DIFFERENCE!

Keep an eye out for a new book review coming SOON!

Guess who made the NEWS?!?! THIS GAL!

opening goodies

Hey LOOK! It’s ME! I’m opening boxes and boxes of wonderful donated books and audiobooks from Random House and Tantor Media!

So totally dance-y pants!  The fabulous gals at The Evening Sun came and hung out with me while I got to open the boxes of goodies that Tantor Media and Random House Audio sent for SGASD libraries!!!

They took pictures, we had a few laughs… oh… and they INTERVIEWED me for the NEWSPAPER!  SK-WEEEEEEE!

Check out the article if you have a chance!

Starry Nights

Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney

Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney

“Starry Nights” is a really wonderful book by author Daisy Whitney, to be published by Bloomsbury USA in September of this year… this is one of those galley copies I was lucky enough to get my hot mitts on at Book Expo America!

Named for the Van Gogh painting, “Starry Nights” takes readers through Paris, France on an adventure full of romance and mystery and drama (and a healthy dose of accurate art history, too!).

I have been to Paris and some of the locations mentioned and reading the detailed artistry describing this city of lights took me right back there!  I could almost SMELL the cinnamon and spice from the crepes at the red awninged street stand.

Julien is a guide in the Musee d’Orsay, (a real museum in Paris, France…)… he also happens to be the son of the art curator.  Julien’s dream is to become a famous artist but describes his art as mediocre at best.  Almost every night he goes to the art museum to look it over and to explore, and every night the art comes alive.

He dances with the Degas.

Degas

Pets the cat from Manet’s Olympia…

Manet's Cat

and slowly and helplessly falls I love with the girl from what might look like Renoir’s Young Girl in the Garden.

Renoir's Young Girl Seated in a Garden

But when all of a sudden all of the Renoirs and other famous ancient paintings start to fade, Julien is forced to realize that this thing he does in the museum is not all together okay, and that his love for the girl in the garden, Clio, is putting the paintings on edge.

This book was A M A Z I N G!!!!  The writing is rich and detailed, its imagery art in itself.  It is not an EASY, QUICK read, but it is an AWESOME one!  Like a really good meal you want to savor and at the same exact time, gobble down like a hungry thing!  If there was any title higher than a keeper shelf, this book would be on it!!!!  Really just amazing!

Daisy Whitney does a wonderful job expressing Julien’s feelings as he falls for a girl that only he can see, and his struggle to find out who he really is….. outside of the paintings!  I have already read this book 3 times in a week and I still can’t quite take in all of the details!!! SK-WEEEEE!!!! I just LOVE books like this!!!

Come September, just in time for start of school, you just MUST get your own copy!  Seriously.  Like… really.

In the meantime, Daisy Whitney has a blog that has some info on her stuff ( like her other books… The Mockingbirds and its sequel The Rivals… which I plan to devour hoard  read super soon) AND if you Facebook, you can “like” her author site there!

Izzy :Z

Because THEY said so or what your parents might say...

Because THEY said so or what your parents might say…

Kissing, a single fistfight, mentions of lustiness, nothing really horrible or scarring.

It has some wonderful history lessons inside of it and references to well know and NOT SO well known pieces of art, and lots of mentions of actual landmarks… (google them all!)

I would say a mature 11 and up.

Marie Antoinette Serial Killer

by Katie Alender.

So, the title aside, this book really wasn’t all that bloody.  If you want the long summery it was a fast paced mystery/ murder/ romance/ YA drama novel.  The short summery…. one word…….  AWESOME!!!!!!!

The author Katie Alender creates a wonderful hook when she starts the book off with a (none too graphic) murder.

Enter, Collette…  a girl with quite a few secrets.  She keeps secrets from her two uber popular, status-crazed friends, (like how she isn’t rich like them).  She also keeps secrets from her mom, like how her dad offered for her to come and live in his penthouse in New York.

She also has an annoying little brother who loves to play pranks on her.  Today he has decided to hide her suitcase, packed full of everything that she needs for her trip, the day before she leaves!!!  The issue for Collette, a girl afraid of the dark and enclosed spaces, is that her brother has decided to put her suitcase in their… basement…. the dank…. dark… small… basement.  But today, Collette is determined to face her fears.  As Collette braves their basement, pulling her stuffed suitcase out of its clutches, she sees a box on top of her suitcase with the name of her father’s grandmother, her grandmother, and her father.  Curiosity takes place of fear as she hurries out with the box and her suitcase, and goes up to her room to root through the contents of the mystery box.

Inside she finds mementos like flyers from nightclubs, cocktail napkins from restaurants, and ticket stubs from Broadway plays….. nothing particularly   interesting.  But just as she is about to put the box down she sees a flat jewelry case.  Inside the luxurious case she finds a GORGEOUS silver medallion, circular with the shape of a flower with 6 spiky petals and a key in the middle.

She knows her father’s side of the family came from France, is it possible that her family has a secret history?  Could she be….. descended from royalty?!?!?!?!

Using wonderful fully developed characters, and eventful plot twists and knots, Alender spins a wild, fastpaced, got you by the seat of your pants, can’t put it down murder mystery, complete with accurate historical basis, and some lesser known facts.  I hope that you enjoy this book as much as I did!!!! Keeper shelf for sure!!

Izzy

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Because THEY said so or what your parents might say...

Because THEY said so or what your parents might say…

Because they said so (what your parents would say).  As the title suggests, this story does have several murders, though not put in horrible detail I would just suggest reader discretion.  Some smoochy stuff and cursing, but nothing we school kids haven’t heard on the bus.