Mundie Moms

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Review: Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton

Published by: Harper Teen / Katherine Tegen Books
Released on: January 31st, 2012 TODAY
Source: ARC from the author to review
5 stars: I LOVED It!
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Series: Book #2

Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined.
Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.

She’s been warned. Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian’s new plan to destroy Ellie’s soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian’s schemes , the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself.

She’ll be betrayed.
Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be hell to pay. -quoted from Goodreads

Talk about needing to catch my breathe... Wings of the Wicked is a non stop, action packed, thrilling sequel that's sexy, dark, and emotionally gripping. Courtney Allison Moulton pulls out all the stops in this book and I have no idea how she's going to top this sequel with book #3. I don't think I've ever read over 500 pages this quickly before. There is so much that happens that I literally was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Between the plot twists, the battles and those who get killed off, this is one book that will appeal to readers who enjoy endless action.

I loved the characters in this sequel, and was really blown away with how much Ellie changes. She deals with some very realistic concerns. She's the Preilator, she's powerful, she's being hunted and she also wants to enjoy just being human. I understood the range of emotions she deals with. The time has come for her to embrace her true self and sacrifice one life for the other... the angel side or the human side. As readers will learn, when the two worlds collide it's costly for her and all involved. The things between Will and Ellie really heat up and their chemistry is smoking in this sequel. Their scenes together were some of the ones that emotional grabbed me. There's so much history between the two of them, an undeniable love, and danger. Courtney couldn't have written their relationship any better than she does in this book. I can't even begin to sum up what is developed and revealed between Will and Ellie. It's so fitting for their history and the way the story line goes.

Along with Will, whom I adore, is Caden. I seriously have fallen in love with Caden, though not as much as I have with Will. He shows up when you least except it and delivers quite the plot twist when he does. When he's around it's hard to tell if there's something he's hiding or if he's really the guy you'd least except to fall for. There's plenty of swoon worthy and gut retching moments that will leave you clinging to the pages of this book. There's an epic battle though I'm sure this isn't the last one we'll witness in this series. I liked that there were times Ellie had to decipher where the fine line between good and evil stood. There's betrayal, unlikely allies and plenty of scenes that will leave you thinking, "I can't believe she just went there." Oh Courtney definitely goes there and it's fabulous!

This is a fantastic sequel and one I highly recommend picking up. There is an underage drinking scene, an attempted rape scene, plenty of butt kicking scenes that obviously contain violence, the subject of domestic violence, very mild language, grief, guilt and the actions that can stem for those. I will say Courtney does a great job in the way she handled each of those topics in her story. Due to some of the content, I think this is a book older YA fans will enjoy the most. If you loved Angelfire just wait till you read Wings of the Wicked! If you're looking for a book that will sweep you off your feet, is full of brilliant writing, breathtaking romance and a well developed storyline than this is one you need to read. Now that I've caught my breathe I may need to sit and read it again. I can't wait to read the next book in this exciting trilogy.

Guess what!?! Courtney will be in Austin on 2/17/12 for the Dark Days stop! I am so excited I'll be there to interview her along with Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton. Find out all the details HERE.

Find out more about Fear The Reaper HERE


I have 2 SETS of bookmarks that feature Will, Ellie and Caden on them to GIVEAWAY and one set of Will and Ellie!! Just leave me a comment with your name and email address to enter. This giveaway will end on 2/13/12. It's OPEN INTERNATIONALLY!

Catching Jordan Blog Tour: Guest Post w/ Author Miranda Kenneally

"Breaking through the Ranks: Jordan is symbolic for the many girls/women who choose to fight the status quo. What have some of your own experiences been like?"

When I was in elementary school, I wasn’t popular to say the least. Kids teased me because I liked Star Trek and science and animals and wanted to know how hurricanes worked. I didn’t know what the popular radio stations were and I barely knew which bands were cool. Some people at my school couldn’t believe I loved reading at night. Books and Discover magazine and National Geographic. I was a dorky, unattractive nerd who boys did not like.

But I was damned good at certain sports, like softball and volleyball.

For a long time in elementary school, when captains chose teams in gym class, it was all based on popularity. I was usually picked somewhere toward the end, even though I knew I could help the captain win games. I had proven myself. But no one ever seemed to notice because my lack of popularity hid my talent.

Then in sixth grade, I made it onto the school’s volleyball team. We were going to play the teachers in a game right before holiday break! Only eight kids were on the team: four boys and four girls. One of the boys was named Josh, and he was extremely popular, but had always been kind to me.

So one night our team went to Open Gym night, to practice so we could beat the teachers. I was practicing my serve – I was the only girl on the team who could do an overhand serve, and it was awesome. A fifth grade boy called out to Josh, “Wow, she’s good!” And Josh replied, “I know she’s good.”

And that was the first time in my life I really felt worth something when it came to sports. I smiled and smiled, and when we played softball in the spring, Josh picked me first when he was captain. When anyone questioned him, he replied, “Have you seen Miranda bat? Or seen her play third base?”

He was a truly good person and a good friend, because he saw my strengths and focused only on them, disregarding any pretense he may have had toward my popularity. I remember in junior high, he wrote in my yearbook, “Stay cool until the Next Generation.” That was incredibly corny but I loved it, because he knew I loved Star Trek: The Next Generation and accepted that about me, that I could like something other kids at my school didn’t like.

In my book CATCHING JORDAN, seventeen-year-old Jordan Woods loves football. She’s been playing the game for a long time and the guys all accept that she loves the game. Her friends don’t question it. She’s the captain and quarterback of her school’s team because she’s proven herself to be a great player and a capable leader.

Early on, when test readers were reading the book, they wanted to know, “Why does Jordan like football so much?”

I couldn’t really answer that. Jordan loves it, so she plays. Isn’t that enough? She likes running and the strategy involved. She likes leading a team. She likes running in for a touchdown.

If I say I love Mexican food, people don’t say, “Tell me why you like Mexican.” If I say I love figure skating, people don’t ask me why. It’s okay that I like those things because it’s normal for a white woman in American to like chips and dip and sparkly leotards.

But people do ask why Jordan’s into football, just because she’s a girl. I know that’s the sole reason.
My view is that people should do what they are good at. And even if they aren’t amazing at something, they should do it if they want to. If they dream of doing something, then they should work toward that dream, tackling obstacle after obstacle.

People will respect that. Maybe not all people, but a good portion will. Besides, you should do what you want to do.

That’s what Jordan Woods does, and that’s what I try to do every day. You should too. And if it ever gets hard, just remember those special people in your life who believe in you and your skills, regardless of sex or race or social status.


Thank you Miranda for joining us today!

Please be sure to follow Miranda via her Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

Published by: Source Books
Released on: December 1st, 2011
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though - she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team... and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate - quoted from Goodreads

You can read my review here and be sure to check out the book trailer here:

Twitter Tuesday - Saundra Mitchell

Can you feel our excitement over Saundra Mitchell's The Springsweet? No, well, take a glance at her newly released book trailer:

Then read this synopsis:

It’s a long way from Baltimore to Oklahoma Territory. But Zora Stewart will go any distance to put the tragic events of her sixteenth summer behind her. So this city girl heads to the tiny frontier town of West Glory to help her young widowed aunt keep her homestead going.

When another Baltimorean shows up in West Glory, Zora couldn’t be more surprised. Theo de la Croix made the long trip out west hoping to court Zora, whom he has long admired from afar.

But Zora has developed an attraction to a rather less respectable fellow: Emerson Birch, a rough-mannered young "sooner" whose fertile land is coveted.

As Zora begins to suspect that there may be more than luck behind Emerson’s good land, she discovers an extraordinary, astonishing power of her own: the ability to sense water under the parched earth. When her aunt hires her out as a "springsweet" to advise other settlers where to dig their wells, Zora feels the burden of holding the key to something so essential to survival in this unforgiving land.

Even more, she finds herself longing for love the way the prairie thirsts for water. Maybe, in the wildness of the territories, Zora can finally move beyond simply surviving and start living.

And finally, here's a snippet from Kirkus Reviews:

Throughout, the author conjures a convincing picture of life on the Oklahoma prairie, painting an absorbing portrait of the landscape and of the people there. Paranormal abilities aside, this is an effective historical novel. Mitchell includes a barn raising and dance, a prairie fire and a town founded and run by blacks, demonstrating solid research. Writing, story and romance maintain interest throughout. A high-quality, absorbing drama.

Okay now you understand why we're excited -- "high-quality, absorbing drama"? I'm so there. Pre-order The Springsweet at your local bookstore now; the release date, April 17th, is just around the corner.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Book Review & Giveaway: Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Published by: Bloomsbury USA
To Be Released on: January 31st, 2011
Source: Book from publisher to review
5 stars: I LOVED It!
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Series: Austenland #2

When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests' Austen fantasies.

Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn't sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside's mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in Charlotte's heart be a sign of real-life love?

The follow-up to reader favorite Austenland provides the same perfectly plotted pleasures, with a feisty new heroine, plenty of fresh and frightening twists, and the possibility of a romance that might just go beyond the proper bounds of Austen's world. How could it not turn out right in the end? -quoted from Goodreads

Everything I love about Shannon Hale's writing is evident with her newest release. Midnight in Austenland is witty, charming, has the right amount of romance, a strong female lead character and a murder mystery to be solved. I loved being back at Pembrook Park. The setting really sets the tone for the book, and though it's a great ode to Jane Austen's works, this time it was more fitting for her novels, Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park. Shannon Hale does suburb job at creating a unique story based on these two classics.

Shannon Hale is an author who's works I've come to love whether if it's children, teen or adults. There's something about her writing that's light hearted, inviting and always leaves me feeling satisfied and wanting more all at the same time. Reading this book was no different. I was totally surprised with how much I loved Charlotte, the main character. She's a successful, independent single mom who's dealing with a broken marriage, trying to mend her heart and in doing so sets off to do something for herself, which leads her to Pembrook Park. Though I couldn't relate to dealing with a broken marriage, Shannon wrote her in such a way I felt like I understood where she was coming from, her need to do what she does, and her drive to stay true to herself and her children. I even understood her hesitation with the romance that takes place in the book, which is so Jane Austen like. I loved it. Charlotte's inner monologue during one of these moments is hilarious! It's adding that little bit of humor into scenes I would least except it to be in, that I love about Shannon's writing.

I really enjoyed Austenland, but I LOVED Midnight in Austenland. Shannon's writing was tighter and the plot line was so well done. There were plenty of exciting plot twists that kept me on my toes, the way the murder mystery wrapped into the story was fabulous, and the romance was of course sigh worthy! This is truly one of those delightful reads you can sit down and enjoy in one sitting. Sometimes it's nice to take a break from YA reads and just get lost in a book that appeals to my adult side. Shannon does a brilliant job at staying true to Austen's books as well as creating a story that's completely unique to her own writing style. This is a book I think Austen fans will love! You'll find everything you adore about Jane Austen's writing and more in Midnight in Austenland.


Thank you to Bloomsbury, I have 2 published copies to giveaway!!!!

To enter, please fill out the form below:
- 1 entry per person
- US residents only
- You must be 13 yrs & older to enter (under must have a parent/guardian's permission to enter)
- The giveaway will end on 2/13/12

Don't miss Shannon's launch party THIS Saturday! Find out all the info HERE

Mundane Monday #121

Happy Mundane!! Here's a lovely little scene between Jem & Tessa. This was taken from the original teaser Cassie posted back in October. *sigh* What a great scene....

He curled his fingers around her hand, where it lay on his arm. His own scorched her skin, hot as fire. And then he turned her, and drew her toward him.

They stood face to face, chest to chest. His breath stirred her hair. She felt the fever rising off him like mist off the Thames; sensed the pounding of the blood through his skin, saw with a strange clarity the pulse at his neck, the light on the pale curls of his hair where it lay against his paler throat. Prickles of heat ran up and down her skin, bewildering her. This was Jem — her friend, steady and reliable as a heartbeat. Jem did not set her skin on fire or make the blood rush fast inside her veins until she was dizzy.

Did he?

“Tessa,” he said. She looked up at him. There was nothing steady or reliable about his expression. His silver eyes were dark, his cheeks flushed. As she raised her face, he brought his down, his mouth slanting across hers, and even as she froze in surprise they were kissing.

- Clockwork Prince

Artwork by Kara-Lija found on Deviantart

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Book Review: Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

Published by: Farrar Straus Giroux
Released on: September , 2011
Source: ARC from publisher to review
3.5 stars: It's A Good Read
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is a novel about an incredible two months for a kid named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is "grounded for life" by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets.

But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack's way once his mom loans him out to help a fiesty old neighbor with a most unusual chore—typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his utopian town. As one obituary leads to another, Jack is launced on a strange adventure involving molten wax, Eleanor Roosevelt, twisted promises, a homemade airplane, Girl Scout cookies, a man on a trike, a dancing plague, voices from the past, Hells Angels . . . and possibly murder.

Endlessly surprising, this sly, sharp-edged narrative is the author at his very best, making readers laugh out loud at the most unexpected things in a dead-funny depiction of growing up in a slightly off-kilter place where the past is present, the present is confusing, and the future is completely up in the air. Dead End in Norvelt is a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Fiction title for 2011. One of Horn Book’s Best Fiction Books of 2011. -quoted from Goodreads

An interesting story with a unique voice and cast of eccentric characters makes for an intriguing read. There's something about the quirkiness of the story that kept me reading it, when normally this style of writing isn't my thing. Dead End in Norvelt has this great mix of history, laugh out loud moments, and some entertaining characters. I was really drawn to the voice of twelve year old Jack, who's the only child to two constantly feuding parents, and lives in the small town of Norvelt, named after Eleanor Roosevelt. For some reason while reading this book I kept alternating between the voices of Napoleon Dynamite and Ralphie from A Christmas Story as the story's narrators in head. The story kind of has a similar feel to both of these movies. It's one part funny, one what "what the heck is going on" and one part intriguing that I couldn't put it down.

Set in what I believe is the early 1960's, the entire feel of the book matches that time period. From the way the characters act, the things they say, what they do and their mind set. Jack himself is a kid that just can't catch a break. He finds himself grounded for the summer after playing with some of his father's weapons from the war he fought in and for mowing down his mother's rows of corn so his father could build a bunker. I seriously grew frustrated with Jack's parents, especially since they're the cause of some of his poor choices. He literally got caught up between their feuding and both of them telling him to different things. He had to pick which parent he was going to disobey. Poor guy. His saving grace from being grounded is his elderly neighbor his mom sends him to help each morning, Miss Volker. She is hilarious and just calls it like she sees it.

Wrapped up into Jack's story is a old fashion murder mystery, the threat of the Hells Angels coming to down, a father who's anxious to get his bomb shelf built along with his run way for his war plane he's building and mother who's more worried about growing food and feeding the poor than what's going on with Jack. There's a lot that's wrapped up into this story, and I don't think my review will do this book justice. It's one you really have to pick up and read for yourself. It really felt like I was getting a glimpse to Jack's journal from growing up and the summer he learned an important life lesson. It's realistic, the humor in this book comes at all the right moments, and it's story with an important life lesson learned for Jack. It's truly a book that will be appealing to many ages and I can see why it's won both the Publisher's Weekly Best Children's Fiction and Horn's Best Fiction Books in 2011, and was announced at last weekend's ALA winner for the John Newbery Medal.

If you love audiobooks, be sure to listen to a sample of the book here.

In My Mailbox #108

Happy Weekend!! I hope you guys are all having a great Saturday. I am so excited about the lovely surprised that arrived this week in my mailbox. I can't wait to share my thoughts about them with you guys. In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by The Story Siren where bloggers share what they received for review, bought, traded, were gifted etc. Here's what arrived this week in my mailbox:

For Review:

* Black Heart by Holly Black, published by Margaret K. McElderry, to be released on 4/3/12, ** this will be featured as a giveaway next month in the MM's 3 yr Birthday Bash
* Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen, published by Bloomsbury Teen, to be released on 2/14/12
* Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey, published by Bloomsbury Teen, released on 1/17/12, reviewed here
* Fracture by Megan Miranda, published by Bloomsbury Teen, released on 1/17/12
* In Darkness by Nick Lake, published by Bloomsbury Teen, released on 1/15/12
* Fairy Lies by E.D. Baker, published by Bloomsbury Teen, to be released on 2/14/12
* The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams, published by Bloomsbury Teen, released on 1/3/12, reviewed here
* The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe, published by Disney Hyperion, released on 1/24/12

Not picture, Until I Die by Amy Plum, published by Harper Teen, to be released on 5/8/12, **this is on my second ARC and I will be giving it away next month as part of my MM 3rd Birthday Bash

* The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison, published by Egmont USA, to be released on 2/14/12
* Everything You Need To Survive The Apocalypse by Lucas Klauss, published by Simon Pulse, released on 1/3/12
* Vesper by Jeff Sampson, published by Balzer & Bray, released on 1/25/11
* Havoc by Jeff Sampson, published by Balzer & Bray, released on 1/24/12
* Trafficked by Kim Purcell, published by Viking, to be released on 2/16/12
* The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova, published by Source Books, to be released on 5/1/12
* Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin & Lisa Brown, published by Source Books, released on 5/1/10, reviewed here

* Cloaked by Alex Flinn, published by Harper Teen, paperback edition to be released on 2/14/12
* Bewitching by Alex Flinn, published by Harper Teen, to be released on 2/14/12
* The Miseducation of Cameron Post, published by Balzar & Bray, to be released on 2/1/12

Mundie Kids:

* Revenge, Jason Steed by Mark A Cooper, published by Source Books, to be released on 3/1/12
* The Cupcake Club: Peace, Love and Cupcakes by Sheryl Berk & Carrie Berk, published by Source Books, to be released on 4/5/12
* Horrid Henry and the Zombie Vampire by Tony Ross, published by Source Books, to be released on 4/12
* Hapenny Magick by Jennifer Carson, published by Pugalicouspress, released on 11/13/11

Mundie Kids: these will be all be featured at the beginning of Feb. on Mundie Kids.

* Isabella Girl on the Go by Jennifer Fosberry, published by Sourebooks, to be released on 2/1/12
* Just Because You're Mine by Sally Lloyd-Jones, published by Harper Collins Childrens, released on 12/27/11
* Love, Splat by Rob Scotton, published by Harper Collins Childrens
* Hugs from Pearl by Paul Schmid, published by Harper Collins Childrens, 11/22/11
* Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, published by Harper Collins Childrens, released on 12/27/12
* Hedgehug by Benn Sutton, published by Harper Collins Childrens, released on 12/1/11
* Pinkalicious, Pink of Hearts by Victoria Kann, published by Harper Collins Childrens, released on 11/22/11
* Amelia Bedelia's First Valentine by Herman Parish, published by Harper Collins Childrens
* You by Stephen Michael King, published by Harper Collins Childrens, released on 4/11
* When My Baby Dreams by Adele Enersen, published by Harper Collins Childrens, released on 1/3/12


* The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Anglebreger, from ALA, signed for my son
* Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate

Thank you: Harper Teen, Balzar & Bray, Bloomsbury Teen, Source Books, Simon & Schuster, Deb Shapiro, Disney Hyperion, Jennifer Carson, and Viking for this week's awesome reads.

What goodies did you receive this week?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Flashback Friday: Dust City by Robert Paul Westin

Flashback Friday is a meme I started last year here on the blog for the sole purpose of spotlighting books that have been sitting on my shelf to read for awhile. This will include titles released the previous year and ones that have been out for a few years. Today's feature is for a book that's been on list to read since 2010 and thank you HD from Reading Writing & Breathing I recently received Dust City in a trade with him.

Published by: Razorbill
Released on: September 30th, 2010
Source: trade
3.5 stars: It's A Good Read
Purchase from: Penguin | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

His son, that's who.

Ever since his father's arrest for the murder of Little Red Riding Hood, teen wolf Henry Whelp has kept a low profile in a Home for Wayward Wolves . . . until a murder at the Home leads Henry to believe his father may have been framed.

Now, with the help of his kleptomaniac roommate, Jack, and a daring she-wolf named Fiona, Henry will have to venture deep into the heart of Dust City: a rundown, gritty metropolis where fairydust is craved by everyone-and controlled by a dangerous mob of Water Nixies and their crime boss leader, Skinner.

Can Henry solve the mystery of his family's sinister past? Or, like his father before him, is he destined for life as a big bad wolf? - quoted from Goodreads

It's not often I've come across a YA read that captures the same feeling that the Grimm's Brother's do in their fairy tales for children, but Robert Paul Weston does just that with Dust City. This enticing story is not at all what I had expected it to be, and I loved that Robert's fairy tale characters are the same ones I knew from my children's fairy tale books. The difference is the characters are older and they live in a darker, more sinister world. If you wanted to know about the "Big Bad Wolf", well now you get to. This story is told from his son's point of view that pieces together what went wrong at Little Red's Grandma's house and is mixed in with a thrilling murder mystery that's embedded with all sorts of danger and a major crime spree.

Robert Paul Westin has done a fabulous job at creating a fairy tale story for YA readers. The story line is brilliant, the feel of the book is a perfect match for the story, and the characters are just as you would except them to be. This book definitely kept me on my toes. There's plenty of mystery, action and betrayal, and it didn't take me long to get wrapped up into everything that was happening. Henry, the main character has a voice that's so fitting for the way the story is told. He's real, he's snarky and he's on a mission to find out who framed his father, where all the fairies went and what's in the tainted fairy dust that's destroying the city and it's residents.

This is definitely unlike any other YA book I've read and it's one I'd definitely recommend to fans of the Grimm Brother's fairytales, wolf fans and fans who love a thrilling paranormal crime story. This story does have a few darker moments that may not be for everyone. I think this is a read that older YA readers may enjoy more.

ALA Mid Winter 2012 Re-Cap

Warning, this post will be a little long, but there's so much to talk about from ALA! This past weekend was such a blast! This was my first time attending ALA, and I hope I'll be able to attend a few more. ALA weekend involved a lot of laughs, tons of book talk, getting to meet some awesome people and really just a lot of fun.

My weekend was complete when I FINALLY got to meet two of my favorite people that I've talked with for the past couple of years- Chrissy Noh and Carolyn with Simon & Schuster!!!! I won't even mention all the fan girliness (I'm not sure if that's even a word) that took place at the S&S booth. I seriously love these two and it was so wonderful to finally talk to them and meet them in person.

I might have also gone a little fan girly on Katherine Tegen, from Katherine Tegen Books. It was such a pleasure to meet her. The sign I'm holding is a joke that author Bettina Restrepo made, because a group of us where totally blown away that we got to meet the person behind Katherine Tegen books, which is an imprint of Harper Teen. She is so lovely.

Another highlight from this weekend was having lunch and meeting Kellie with Walden Pond Press. I adore her and it was so wonderful to finally meet her in person and have lunch together!

Aside from my high lights above, it was so much fun being able to meet and hang out with fellow bloggers.

The weekend kicked off with a big dinner with over 70 bloggers, authors and publishers getting together. Jen w/ I Read Banned Books did an awesome job with putting this together.

Below is: YA Bliss, Stacy w/ Girls in the Stacks, Jen w/ Book & A Latte , Amy & Andye with Reading Teen, Nancy w/ Girls in the Stacks, myself, Yara w/ Once Upon a Twilight.

I had so much fun! It was the best of both worlds getting to hang out with friends all weekend and doing book related stuff.

The best part of the whole night involves my EMBARRASSING moment! So... I thought I was standing behind a friend of mine (this is someone I've known for a few years), keep in mind the place is dimly lit and extremely crowded. I hadn't seen her in awhile so I jokingly hit her on the butt, um yeah, that was NOT my said friend. *go ahead and I laugh, because I about died*. Luckily Megan, my new friend (pictured above) has a great sense of humor, because we're both still laughing about it. The best part of my embarrassing moment, I now have a new friend. I'm still mortified I even did that....

Left to Right: Myself, Amy & Andye from Reading Teen, Yara from Once Upon a Twilight & Nancy from Girls in the Stacks. No, we weren't just acting like 12 yr old girls right before the picture was taken....

Pictured below: Includes the same group of girls, along with Stacy from Girls in the Stacks & Jen from.
I seriously LOVE these girls! It was so much fun being able to finally hang out together. They made the weekend unforgettable!

There's a quite a few bloggers I loved getting to meet whom I've talked with a lot on twitter, blogger and facebook. My only regret is I didn't get a picture with all of them. *waves to you guys* Some of my fav were meeting Melina from Reading Vacation & HD from Reading, Writing & Breathing, Hafash from IceyBooks, and Katie (the other Katieb) from Katie's Book Blog. Stacy & I got a picture w/ HD-

You are NEVER TOO OLD for the Muppets! Girls in the Stacks, Jen w/ Book & A Latte, myself & Ginger w/ GReads

This weekend ended with a fun girls night w/ Girls in the Stacks, Reading Teen, Book & A Latte & Kelsey w/ Reading or Breathing. THANK YOU to Stacy for a great weekend!!

Me w/ Amy & Andye from Reading Teen @ Stacy's house

Honestly, this weekend was such a blast! It was like a never ending girls night complete with meeting new friends, talking with publisher friends, attending publisher events and getting to talk about books. Thank you to everyone who made this an unforgettable weekend!

** I do have some things to giveaway from ALA, some things I've donated to a book drive I'm c0-hosting and the others will be featured in Mundie Moms Birthday Bash next month! I'll give you a teaser, there will be an ARC of Destined by Aprilynne Pike, an ARC of Fracture, and an ARC of BLACK HEART by Holly Black!!

Recent TMI Movie News & Other Things

If you follow TMI movie screenwriter, Marlene King on Twitter, you may be jumping around with excitement like we are over her recent tweets: “I'm sorry. I've said as much as I can. More news soon I promise.” Followed by, “I think I have done you proud. TMI is "The Mortal Instruments". Amazing book series by @Cassieclare I have adapted as a movie. So excited for you all to see!”

See what I mean about excitement. I for one would rather wait to have this movie come out if they did it right. Getting the movie right is far more important than pushing to get the movie filmed and released.

In other news:

City of Fallen Angels was the most quoted book on Good Reads in 2011!! Cassie recently joked on tumblr that, that was do to Love Explosions.” We think it has to do with her awesome writing!

What's one of your favorite lines from City of Fallen Angels?

What do you think of the recent movie tweets? Would you rather have the script be spot on with the book, or do you want a rushed movie? I know we're all anxious to see it on the big screen.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Book Review: The Edumacation of Jay Baker

Published by: MacMillan
To Be Released on: January 31st, 2012
Source: ARC from publisher to review
3.5 stars: It's A Good Read
Pre-Order from: MacMillan | Amazon

A few “sexy” bullet points about Jay: • He is in love with a cheerleader named Cameo “Appearance” Parnell • He is forever losing “Love-15” to tennis-playing goddess Caroline Richardson • He rocks a touché array of pop-culture references, jokes, and puns • His family-life cookie is about to crumble. Live vicariously through Jay as he faces off against his mortal enemy, gets awkward around his dream girl(s), loses his marbles in a Bermudian love triangle, watches his parents’ relationship implode, and, finally, learns to get real and be himself(ish) -quoted from Goodreads

If you're looking for a good, laugh out loud read pick up Jay Clark's debut book! Jay Baker is hilarious. There were times he had me laughing out loud and other teams I felt so sorry for him, but before I could teary eyed for all he's dealing with he says something funny that makes me start laughing again. He's a typical teenager who deals with a lot, his first love, a great best friend, a broken home and a bully. Normally I'd feel horrible for Jay, I mean I did, but his snarky and down right hilarious comments he makes to deal with all that goes around him had me laughing at moments I didn't even except to laugh out. For most of the book I found his sarcastic ways charming, and some of his best lines were used towards the bully he deals with in the story.

Jay does a lot of stuff and says a lot of things I felt were very realistic for a typical teenage guy. I felt his character was very believable and may even be relatable to some. Jay Clark did an awesome job at giving his character a true to life teenage voice, which is one of the things that made me like this book. That doesn't mean I agreed with everything Jay says or does, but there's something about what he does through out the story that makes him so enduring. The other person I enjoyed was Jay's sister. They both dish it to each other like all normal siblings do, but they're both also there for each other when the other needs it. I won't even get on the topic of Jay's mother... that women irritated so much.

Jay's writing is fresh, it's surprising, and it's real. I enjoyed the way he tells Jay's story and how he allowed me to get to know his characters. I don't remember the last time I laughed out loud so often while reading a book. His debut is a solid read, and I even enjoyed the surprise ending. I have to say, I didn't see it ending the way it did. The only compliant I have, and this is going to show my age, is all the teen lingo, but I'm "old" and definitely not in the 12-18 yrs old range (even though I may at times act like it). This is definitely a read the targeted age range will love, which is 13-18 yrs old. As I said above, this is a good read, and it's one I recommend to YA readers who are looking for a good contemporary book from a male teen's pov.

Don't miss our interview with Jay & enter for your chance to win a published copy of The Edumacation of Jay Baker HERE.