January 2009

I’m proud of my reading this month.  I knew I needed to get as many in as I could in January since I’ll be starting my General Exam questions this semester.  Since I am so close to starting my dissertation I’ll be losing some free time.  I hope it doesn’t cut into my “for pleasure” reading very much.  I do most of my reading at night before bed, so hopefully I can still keep up the same pace.  

Here is my January Reading Log:

1. SUCH A PRETTY GIRL by Laura Wiess (Jan. 1, 2009)
2. DEADLY LITTLE SECRETS by Laurie Faria Stolarz (Jan. 3, 2009)
3. BETWIXT by Tara Bray Smith (Jan. 8, 2009)
4. LORD OF MISRULE by Rachel Caine (Jan. 11, 2009) 
5. KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO by Patrick Ness (Jan. 16, 2009)
6. EVERYTHING IS FINE by Ann Dee Ellis (Jan. 17, 2009) 
7. CRACKED UP TO BE by Courtney Summers (Jan. 17, 2009) 
8. BECAUSE I AM FURNITURE by Thalia Chaltas (Jan. 19, 2009)
9. THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan (Jan. 21, 2009)
10. THE RULE OF WON by Stefan Petrucha (Jan. 22, 2009) 
11. LOOKS by Madeleine George (Jan. 25, 2009)
12. ACADEMY 7 by Anne Osterlund (Jan. 28, 2009)
13. VIBES by Amy Kathleen Ryan (Jan. 30, 2009) 

Out of these 13 books I’d have to say that my favorite is…drumroll please…


A close runner up is…


What about everyone else?  What was your favorite book in January?


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Houghton Mifflin – October 6, 2008

Kristi can read minds.  This may sound cool, but she doesn’t get any enjoyment out of it.  For the most part she just hears people thinking:

1 – how strange everyone thinks she is.

2 – what guys think about when they look at her large chest.

3 – her mother wondering why Kristi avoids her.

Kristi’s life took a dramatic turn two years ago.  Her father left, her best friend moved up the popularity ladder and left her behind, and Gusty, the boy she was totally in love with, made it pretty clear he didn’t want anything to do wit her.  Pretty much the only thing that gives her any pleasure is listening to operas, designing and making her own clothes, and her cat, Minnie.  She has worked herself into a nice, comfortable rut.

Several things happen at once that shake up her world.  Her father comes back from Africa, a new boy enrolls at school and appreciates her creativity, and Gusty turns out to be her partner for a huge school project. Everything she thinks she knows comes into question.

Kristi is a fantastic character.  Her hilarious, sarcastic attitude and witty remarks will leave the reader giggling out loud several times throughout the story.  You’ll want everything to work out for her.

Amy Kathleen Ryan does a great job capturing the insecure feelings of a solitary teenager.  The progressive high school, Journeys, is a wonderful backdrop for this unique story.  Click here to visit the author’s website for contests and great writing advice.








Speak – May 14, 2009

Every young citizen of the Alliance between the ages of sixteen and seventeen is given the Academy Entrance Exam.  The results of the test determines which Academy the student will attend. Academy 7 is the most prestigious school in all of the Alliance and only the students with the top 50 scores are invited to attend each year.

Aerin Renning and Dane Madousin both receive invitations to Academy 7 and both decide to accept for their own, very different, reasons.  Aerin has some deep, dark secrets that could ruin her chances at the Academy and guards herself against exposure by isolating herself from others.  She spends her time studying about the politics and history of the Alliance in order to excel in her classes so she can secure a return invitation the next year.

Dane is the son of a very powerful man.  Not only is his father a successful General, but he is also on the Council, the small group of people who governs the Alliance.  Attending Academy 7 isn’t Dane’s dream, but in order to spite his father, he decides to make the most of his time there.  Dane soon excels in his studies and holds the number one position in every class except one – Personal Combat.  There is one person that bests him in Combat on a daily basis – Aerin.

After a disciplinary action forces Aerin and Dane to work together, he tries to break through the wall that she has created. Slowly, as they learn more about each other, their secrets come out and, together, they come to terms with their problems.  

Anne Osterlund has created an interesting science fiction world for ACADEMY 7.  Both Aerin and Dane change and grow throughout the course of the story and witnessing their failures and triumphs is interesting.  The story has a satisfying ending and could easily be a stand alone novel, but on the other hand, there are story lines that could definitely continue.  We’ll have to wait and see what the author has in mind.  Click here to visit her website.





Academy 7

Hey everybody.  Be sure to stop by The Read Carpet Podcast site.  Adele over at the Persnickety Snark put out the word to bloggers from around the globe about this project and boy did she get a response.  So, without any further ado, here is Episode 001.  (I’d like to embed the podcast player, but WordPress doesn’t support Flash!  UGH!!  Well, at least I can post the roster.  Here are the topics featured on the first episode.

Taren’s Random Ramblings

VC Andrews – Flowers in the Attic

New on my Bookshelf (Hope)

Cracked Up To Be / Courtney Summers – St Martin’s Press, 2008.

Fresh Meat (with Kristi)

** You are so Undead to Me / Stacey Jay – Razorbill


** Canterwood Crest: Take the Reins / Jessica Burkhart – Simon and Schuster http://www.jessicaburkhart.com

** Bones of Faerie / Jannie Lee Simner – Random House


Presenting Lenore Presents…

1984 by George Orwell. 1949.

Feed by MT Anderson. Candlewick 2004.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. Scholastic 2005.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Scholastic 2008.

The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman. Razorbill 2008.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. Tor 2008.

Gone by Michael Grant. HarperTeen 2008.

Neptune’s Children by Bonnie Dobkin. Walker Books 2008.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding. 1954.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Knopf 2006.

Life as We Knew it by Susan Beth Pfeffer.Harcourt 2006.

The Aussification Experience (Adele)

(On the) Jellicoe Road / Melina Marchetta – Penguin, 2008

The Inkys – http://www.insideadog.com.au

Transforming Echoes (Renee)

YALSA – Young Adult Library Services Association


Comic Corner (Justin)

Y: The Last Man (Brian K. Vaughan/Pia Guerra)


3351354Carrie Ryan, author of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, is giving away TWO SIGNED COPIES of SHADOWED SUMMER.  All you have to do is leave a comment on Carrie’s blog or Livejournal.  You can get an extra entry if you post something on your blog about the contest, like I’m doing here.  Carrie will be drawing the winner’s name late Monday so hurry up and get over there and throw your name in the hat.

Here is the book description:

Nothing ever happened in Ondine, Louisiana, not even the summer Elijah Landry disappeared. 

His mother knew he ascended to heaven, the police believed he ran away, and his girlfriend thought he was murdered. 

Decades later, certain she saw his ghost in the town cemetery, fourteen-year-old Iris Rhame is determined to find out the truth behind “The Incident With the Landry Boy.” 

Enlisting the help of her best friend Collette, and forced to endure the company of Collette’s latest crush, Ben, Iris spends a summer digging into the past and stirring old ghosts, in search of a boy she never knew. 

What she doesn’t realize is that in a town as small as Ondine, every secret is a family secret. 

Good luck to everyone.

myspace layouts

I’m Waiting

and Waiting

and Waiting 


STARGAZER by Claudia Gray.



Stargazer (March 2009) returns to Bianca’s story a few months later. Both she and Lucas will stop at nothing to see each other again—even if it means living a life of secrets and lies. But even as Bianca finds herself torn between two worlds, she soon discovers they aren’t the only ones keeping secrets. Will powerful forces within Evernight Academy keep her from deciding her own fate, or claim her forever?

Be sure to visit Claudia Gray’s Live Journal for up-to-date information.

Click here for the Goodreads page for STARGAZER.

Claudia Gray has a great website with lots of information and cool desktops for your computer.

Here is a sneak peek at the Prologue and Chapter 1 of STARGAZER.

STARGAZER will be available from Harper Collins on March 24, 2009.  Go to Amazon and Pre-Order it today.

(Evernight Novels



Viking – June 12, 2008

Meghan is obese. She is the largest person at Valley Regional High and her hulking size, oddly enough, allows her to blend into the background. Most people are too uncomfortable to make eye contact and most teachers are content to allow her to remain silent during class discussions. Meghan doesn’t have any friends, but she knows a lot about everyone at school.

Aimee is reed thin. Her list of foods that give her a “bad reaction” grows everyday. About the only things she allows herself to eat are Jell-o and carrot sticks. Her big, floppy hats and black, long skirts make her all but invisible in the school’s halls. Invisible to everyone except Meghan that is…

Meghan feels the need to connect with Aimee. She begins to follow Aimee in order to try and find an excuse to talk to her, but it isn’t until Aimee is betrayed and she and Meghan share a common enemy that they team up for a little payback.

LOOKS deals with many issues – eating disorders, friendship, bullying, and high school dynamics are the most evident. George’s unique writing style in the first and last chapters give the reader a voyeuristic feeling and, at times, the lyrical and figurative language tricks the reader into thinking they are reading and extended poem rather than a work of prose. While the author doesn’t wrap the story up in the traditional way of most young adult novels, it is definitely an accurate picture of the atmosphere in a typical high school.






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