Benbella Books – May 5, 2009

Normally, I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but I’m sure glad I did in this case. Ellen Hopkins did a fantastic job of editing this collection of essays from multiple points of view.  Several authors, including Gail Giles, weigh in on different aspects of the issues involved in CRANK and GLASS.  Ellen, herself, gives more insight into the turmoil her family went through during the years “Kristina” was in the grips of the monster.  But, what is probably the most interesting and beneficial to teen readers is the fact that members of the Hopkins family sound off as well. Ellen’s husband, “Kristina’s” sister, “Kristina,” and “Hunter” all have an essay included.  Their powerful words give the reader a real look at the devastation drugs have on the entire family.

This book will definitely have a home on my middle school library shelf.  If you know anyone that loves CRANK and GLASS, be sure to tell them about FLIRTIN’ WITH THE MONSTER.



Flirtin’ With the Monster:
Your Favorite Authors on Ellen Hopkins’ Crank and Glass




The Bowen Press – May 1, 2009

It was such a treat to get this graphic novel and realize it was a completely different story within the WICKED LOVELY world.  Keenan makes a brief appearance, but other than that the reader is introduced to totally new characters.

Rika lives in the isolation of the desert.  She maintains invisibility around humans in order to observe them.  She misses her humanity and feels some animosity toward Keenan for turning her into a faery when she attempted to become his Summer Queen.  Rika wasn’t THE ONE and instead had to take on the chill of the Winter Queen until another girl came along and took her place.  Rika didn’t want to be around Keenan after she became a regular faery because of the painful memories attached to him, so she made her home in the desert far away from the Faery Court.

Lately she has been observing Jayce, an artistic and handsome young man.  When some mischievious faeries cause Jayce to fall during rock climbing, Rika must become visible in order to save him.

As Rika and Jayce get to know each other, they are pursued by other faeries and Jayce is put in danger.  It seems that Rika is being manipulated by someone she trusts.

The reader will definitely be anxious to read the next installment in this graphic novel series.  Melissa Marr has given us all new characters to fall in love with.  Thank you Melissa.

Wicked Lovely:
Desert Tales, Volume 1:












Sandpiper – May 4, 2009

The Giodano sisters are back from a summer vacation in Italy and things in Nightshade are as strange as ever when they get back.

The first thing Daisy wants to do when she gets home is see her boyfriend, Ryan.  She has missed him and can’t wait to get over to his house.  Daisy is disappointed to find out that he is at football practice, but heads over to the school anyway.  She is very surprised by what she sees.  Ryan has really buffed up in the weeks she’s been gone and so, it seems, has most of the other football players.

Since there are still several weeks left in summer, Daisy decides she should get a job.  She notices that Slim’s has a Help Wanted sign in the window and with her love of cooking, she feels this would be a perfect fit.

After leaving work one evening, she notices someone digging in the dumpster in the alley.  Strangely, it appears to be her missing father.  After other strange appearances in town, the Nightshade City Council comes to the conclusion that Doppelgangers are on the loose causing havoc in town.

Daisy and her sisters have to figure out what is going on in town.  Is there something strange causing the football team to get super strong in such a short time?  Who is creating the Doppelgangers?  Is Mr. Giodano really back or is he a Doppelganger too?

DEAD IS SO LAST YEAR is a fun conclusion to a cute trilogy.  Marlene Perez has a knack for writing with user-friendly, non-intimidating language.  The only drawback is you definitely need to read the trilogy in order.  So, readers, take heed – read DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK then DEAD IS A STATE OF MIND and finally DEAD IS SO LAST YEAR.

Dead Is So Last Year









icon-copyWelcome to Traveling To Teens first blog tour. 

We are just getting started this month so be patient.  There are likely to be bumps along the way until we find our groove.

Our featured author is
Carol Lynch Williams.


CAROL LYNCH WILLIAMS, a four-time winner of the Utah Original Writing Competition and winner of Nebraska’s Golden Sower Award, grew up in Florida but now lives in Utah with her husband and seven children. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and helped develop the conference on Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers at Brigham Young University.





Griffin – May 12, 2009


Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. That is, without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her.

But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.


Kyra has three mothers, one father, and twenty brothers and sisters.  She lives in a compound led by The Prophet, a man who is in “close communication with God.”  Over the years, the compound has become more and more closed off from the outside world.  With the fence that was built around the compound and the mass book burning, any freedom they had is dwindling away.

Kyra is the most headstrong out of all of her siblings.  She sometimes has a difficult time accepting the laws of the community.  Because of her headstrong ways, she keeps secrets.  Even though books aren’t allowed on the compound, she has found a way to read.  On one of her walks she discovers that a bookmobile passes the compound.  When the bookmobile driver stops, she gets up the nerve to get a library card and check out one book at a time.  She keeps it hidden in her favorite tree where she spends a lot of her time.

Reading isn’t the only secret Kyra keeps.  There is also Joshua – the boy she loves.  They sneak out at night to talk, to kiss, and to read.  She sees herself getting married to Joshua and starting a family, but she begins to question her feelings about husbands having multiple wives.  Could she stand sharing Joshua with another woman?

Kyra’s life begins to spiral out of control when her and her family get the word from The Prophet that she has been Chosen.  Chosen to be married.  Married to her sixty-year-old uncle.  Unable to believe this is possible, she runs and hides in her tree until it is dark enough to go to Joshua’s. 

From the minute Kyra discovers she is supposed to marry her uncle, her life is a living nightmare.  She gets a glimpse of what life will be like when her uncle comes over to discipline one of her siblings for embarrassing him in front of The Prophet.  As she goes through the wedding preparations like a zombie, she hopes somehow her father will talk The Prophet out of his decision.

Threats, beatings, banishments.  This is what life is like in the compound.  Kyra must decide if she can live this way or if she will take the risk and run away and leave her family forever.

This  novel is very powerful and disturbing.  The contrast between the family life Kyra is used to and the other families in the compound is interesting.  Where Kyra’s father is always loving and kind to his wives and children, the other men of the compound rule by fear and harsh discipline.  This is one of the main reasons Kyra is headstrong.

Something that would have made this novel even better though, is if the author would have given us more examples of what went on behind closed doors in the houses that weren’t as friendly as Kyra’s. 

THE CHOSEN is a book everyone should read, especially in light of recent news events concerning a situation much like Kyra’s.  THE CHOSEN is a page-turner.  Once you start, you won’t want to put it down until you see how it ends.  Your heart will go out to Kyra.  THE CHOSEN is one of those books that will leave you pondering for days.

Normally there will be some Q & A with the author, but with the time crunch we haven’t rec’d our answers yet.  I’ll post them when I get them.

The Chosen One











HarperCollins – April 28, 2009

Reading book 1 in this trilogy, THE SUMMONING, is recommended before reading THE AWAKENING.

Chloe Saunders can see ghosts.  She can also raise the dead – mostly without meaning to.  After being sent to Lyle House because her dad thought she was unstable (see THE SUMMONING), she found out that it was just a front for the Edison Group – a corporation that studies paranormal activity.  Chloe, Derek, Simon, and Rae escape in hopes of finding Derek and Simon’s dad and putting a stop to the Edison Group’s evil plans.  Freedom doesn’t last long though.  Chloe is captured and forced to reveal the location of Simon and Derek when THE AWAKENING begins.

After regaining her freedom and being reunited with her friends, Chloe begins to learn more about her powers while staying one step ahead of the Edison Group.  Simon, Derek, and Chloe learn some very disturbing information about their genetic makeup and struggle to come up with a plan to bring down the people responsible.  In addition to the struggles she is already dealing with, Chloe is faced with a massive betrayal. 

With the help of an unexpected ally, Chloe and her friends move one step closer to taking down the Edison group.  She realizes there is no way she will ever be able to return to her old life and that she is going to have to find a way to make this new one work.  Chloe’s relationship with Derek becomes stronger, but it is still unclear what is going on with her and Simon.  It will be interesting to see if there is a romantic element in the future and how the brothers will handle it if there is.

THE RECKONING is the third and final book in the Darkest Powers  Trilogy.  Readers will be clamoring for it to find out how everything turns out for Chloe and her friends.

Visit “Chloe’s” blog for a free novella about Simon and Derek and events leading up to their arrival at Lyle House.  It is being written in serial form.  Kelley Armstrong is posting a section on the 1st and 15th of every month.  When it is complete it will be transferred to the locker section of “Chloe’s” website

The Summoning
(Darkest Powers, Book 1)

The Awakening
(Darkest Powers, Book 2)











rampantcoverfinal 4-glasses

HarperTeen – June 1, 2009

What comes to mind when you think of unicorns? Flowing, curling, pastel manes?  A single, glittery horn?  A kind and magical creature?  Well, you’d be wrong.  Unicorns are vicious, man-eating creatures.  Their teeth are razor sharp, they are faster than a sports car, and their ability to track prey is eerie.  To make matters worse, unicorns can only be killed by female warriors that are direct descendants of Alexander the Great – and oh yeah – the female warriors must be virgins.  

Astrid has grown up with her mother’s stories of evil unicorns and how her ancestors were some of the fiercest unicorn hunters in history.  When Astrid’s friends enjoyed the fairy tale versions of these creatures, she was always a little creeped out by them.  Astrid also had to come to terms with the fact that her mother might be crazy since all she talked about and researched was man-eating unicorns.

Astrid loses control of her life after witnessing a unicorn attack.  It, coupled with reports of  mysterious “wild animal” attacks around the world, leads Astrid’s mother to believe that this is proof of the beginning of a reemergence of the unicorns.  Astrid is immediately shipped off to Rome to begin training to be a warrior – against her will.

Astrid experiences a lot during her time in Rome.  She learns about her family’s history and their role in unicorn hunting.  She experiences some of the local culture and meets a handsome young man.   Most importantly, she comes face-to-face with unicorns and is forced to see if she has what it takes to be a warrior.

RAMPANT is a unique story.  Never before have I read or even heard of killer unicorns.  Astrid is a strong, female character and extremely likable and her strong relationship with her cousin, Phil, adds a lot to the story.  Rome’s romantic atmosphere provides an interesting backdrop for bloody unicorn battles and adds to the mysterious feeling of the book.  Romance is scattered throughout the tale, but it doesn’t dominate or take away from the action.  The way the story ends, it seems possible that Astrid’s story could continue, but the ending is satisfying enough as it is that it definitely works as a stand-alone.





Point – May 13, 2008

Em Watts is smart, confident, and happy with who she is – even if she doesn’t fit into the popular crowd at school.  She is content to spend time with her best friend, Christopher, and play Journeyquest until the wee hours of the morning.  She doesn’t pay much attention to fashion or pop culture unless her little sister is shoving it down her face in her latest ramble of “why Em is such a dork.” 

Everything changes on the day Em takes her little sister to the grand opening of a mega-store where the latest music sensation will be singing and signing autographs.  One freak accident later and Em isn’t Em anymore.

Without any time to adjust, Em is thrust into the world of beauty and fashion.  Where how she looks determines if people keep their jobs.  Who knew being beautiful was so much work?  How will Em survive without her usual comforts – especially Christopher?

AIRHEAD was a nice surprise.  Meg Cabot did a great job of weaving in the story of family and friendship.  This is a great choice if you are looking for a tame version of SKINNED by Robin Wasserman and it could even be paired with THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX – both deal with medical ethics.  What would you be willing to do in order to stay alive?