Thursday, June 23, 2011

What CHS is Reading!

A listing of the top circulating books at Christiansburg High School for the 2010 - 2011 school year. I was definitely surprised by some of the titles and the number of times they checked out.

  1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (It seemed everyone had their own copy!)
  2. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Took this series awhile to be loved as much as I love it)
  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Because if you hadn't read it, I made you!)
    Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  4. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  5. The Replacement by Brenna Yonavoff
    Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
  6. Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien
  7. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
    City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
    The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
  8. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
    Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
  9. Girlfriend Material by Melissa Kantor
    Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
  10. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
    The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
    I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
    Beastly by Alex Flinn

Best Books So Far in 2011

It seems everyone does a top 10 or best books list. So here is mine in the order that I read them throughout the first part of the year. Keep in mind, not all were recently published in . As usual, I had a hard time determining my top pick.

  • Matched  by Ally Condie (Waited a looooong time to read this one!)
  • Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (Historical fiction at its best!)
  • Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr (Liked how each book focused on a different character)
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis (Loved the last two lines in the book)
  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Just love her writing style)
  • Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima (Cannot believe I hadn't discovered this author sooner)
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth (Ranks up there with Matched)
  • If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman (Loved Mia & Adam's relationship)
  • Body Finder series (Violet & Jay)
  • Hourglass by Myra McEntire (This one has it all!)
And I am eagerly awaiting the publication of the following:
  • Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (End of the Wolves of Mercy Falls series)
  • Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer (Team Ren!)
  • The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima (Han & Raisa)
  • Entralled a short story collection
  • Eve by Anna Carey (Lots of pre-pub buzz on the blogosphere)
  • The Death Cure by James Dashner (Where Thomas figures it all out)
  • Beautiful Chaos by Garcia and Stohl
  • Crossed (Xander or Kye, haven't decided yet)
  • Prized by Caragh O'Brien (continuation of Gaia's story)
  • Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (Looking to put more pieces of the puzzle together)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Life for seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole is more complicated than other people. An orphan, she left boarding school for financial reasons and is back home in Tennessee with her older brother and his wife. Since just before her parents’ death four years ago, Emerson began seeing ghostly apparitions only noticeable to her. After an argument in the school cafeteria her freshmen year, Emerson has been in mental hospitals and on medication. Secretly off her meds, Emerson has learned a few tricks to deal with the people only she can see. Her well-meaning brother has brought in several specialists/quacks to no avail. So when he announces he is bringing in another consultant, this time from the Hourglass a secretive organization, Emerson decides to give it one more choice.

When Emerson first lays eyes on Michael Weaver, the attraction between the two of them is instantaneous. After all the other failed attempts, Emerson finds she is leery of Michael’s promises of help until she realizes that he can see the same things she does. She finds herself pulled to Michael until he tells her to stop researching for information on the Hourglass.  Emerson pulls away and soon both of them are miserable. Michael finally tells her that he is only trying to protect her. She sees the past but he sees the future and he has met the Emerson of the future. He knows how their paths will cross and wants to shield her from knowing too much, too soon.

Who is Michael Weaver and why is he so secretive? Why does it seem like there is an electrical charge between the two of them? What is the Hourglass and its purpose? And why does Michael need Emerson to help him travel back in time to stop a murder that should have never happened? Equal parts mystery and romance; join Emerson in her journey to discover not only who she is but who Michael is as well.
This is the BEST book I have read in a very long time!! I loved every minute of it and couldn't put it down. Lots of twists and turns with spine-tingling, nail-biting action at the end. Cannot wait to see what else Myra McEntire writes in the Hourglass realm.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wonderous Strange trilogy by Lesley Livingston

Wondrous Strange – Book One

Seventeen-year-old Kelley Winslow’s acting dream comes true when she is suddenly thrust into the role of Titania in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Nights Dream. The only problem is that opening night is only ten days away. Thrilled at the opportunity, Kelley flubs most of her lines during rehearsal and is chastised by the director. Kelley decides to study that night in the Shakespeare Garden in Central Park. While reciting her lines, Kelley becomes frustrated and stubs her toe. Unbeknownst to her, someone is watching and decides to present her a beautiful rose. He disappears before she can thank him.

It turns out Kelley has caught the eye of Sonny Flannery. Sonny is a changling and has been raised by Auberon, the Unseelie Court and Winter King, to be a member of the Janus Guard. The Janus are an elite group of changelings, mortal children taken by Faeries, who guard the Samhein Gate located in Central Park. The Gate is a gateway between the mortal world and Faerie Otherworld that opens for several days a year around October 31. Later that night after a skirmish with some minor fey trying to breach the gate, Sonny notices something disturbing at the Lake. While Sonny was occupied, a Kelpie crossed through the Gate and signs that Kelley was involved, including her lost script, are found.

Sonny and his friend Maddox, who is also a member of the Janus Guard, decide to track down Kelley, based on notes written on her script, at the theater. Sonny believes if he finds Kelley, he will find the kelpie. What he doesn’t expect is that Kelley is able to see him through his veil. When Maddox realizes that the actor portraying Puck is really a very old and powerful faery, he tells Sonny the story about the stolen faery child of the Winter King and a dire warning about the kelpie. Sonny later encounters Kelley in Central Park at dusk. Soon he realizes the danger when a Black Shuck slips past through the gate and goes for Kelley. Sonny is injured in the fight but realizes that Kelley may not be exactly what she seems.

Soon it seems that war is brewing in the faery world. Who or what is Kelley and how is she connected to the faery world? Can Sonny protect Kelley or will he lose not only his heart but his head? And just what is Puck’s warning about?

The book begins with a copy of the first page of Kelley’s script that the reader can refer back to see the notes she has written that are mentioned in the script.

Darklight – Book Two

It has been six months since the horrific events in Central Park on the night of Samhein. Kelley is in rehearsal for the Avalon Grande’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Sonny was called back to the otherworld by Auberon to kill the remnants of the Wild Hunt so that Mabh can once again be contained. Being in two separate worlds isn’t very healthy for Kelley and sonny’s relationship. When a faery monarch falls ill and is dying their reunion is brief. Can Kelley and Sonny save the mortal world and the faery realm as well as find their way back to each other? A few shocking twists and turns will leave the reader eagerly awaiting the third book.
Tempestuous – Book Three

Tempestuous begins immediately where Darklight ends. In order to keep Sonny safe, Kelley gives the performance of her life. She lies and says she never loved him. Both devastated Sonny retreats to a Lost Fae haven deep underneath New York City. Meanwhile Kelley is left to solve several dangerous mysteries. Who is using Janus Guards to murder innocent faery? Who is after Sonny’s magick? Will Kelley learn how to use her own? What is causing Auberon’s illness? And can Kelley rebuild the Avalon Grande Theatre, her one true family? Will Sonny and Kelley find their way back to one another or will the Fennrys Wolf come between them?

Lesley Livingston's website.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cryptic Cravings by Ellen Schreiber (Vampire Kisses book 8)

SPOILER ALERT! If you have read the other books in the Vampire Kisses series, Stop! I don't want to ruin the story for you.

"Rumors are spreading that there are vampires living in Dullsville." - Becky Miller

When Alexander’s best friend Sebastian decides to stay in Dullsville after biting Jagger’s twin Luna, Alexander is suddenly not the town’s lone vampire. As Raven and Alexander’s relationship heats up, Raven uncovers Jagger’s plan to convert the abandoned factory into a dance club, the Crypt. Now that it seems all of Raven’s dreams are coming true, Jagger wants to open an underground vampire-only club called the Covenant underneath the Crypt. Can Raven figure out a way to make Jagger’s mortals-only club succeed and keep the citizens of Dullsville ignorant of the fact that a few new vampires have moved to town?
Raven and Alexander’s story will continue in book 9, Stormy Nights, expected to be published in 2012.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Silver Sea by Julia Golding

“The world is filled with unlikely heroes.”

Norway, 880 A.D.
Sixteen-year-old Freydis and her older brother, Toki are awaiting the arrival of their Viking leader father, Ohthere after being away for almost a year. Unbeknownst to them, he will be leaving immediately to hunt down Sulke the Pirate, with whom he holds a blood grudge against. But before Ohthere’s arrival home, Sulke attacks the stronghold. After being wounded in the upper leg, Freydis is hidden by Toki in the new privy hole during the raid. When she crawls out of the hole when all is cleared, she sees nothing but complete devastation and soon realizes that Toki is now Sulke’s prisoner.

Before Ohthere goes home, he stops to make a trade with a silversmith. At the shop he sees Blue Man, aka Enno, a man from the North African coast who has lived as a slave in the north most of his life. Enno refuses to act like a slave since he was a prince in Africa. Ohthere decides to purchase Blue Man as Freydis’ first slave and bodyguard. Upon his arrival home, he is stunned to see only Freydis remaining. Ohthere is a cruel father who values his son and doesn’t believe Freydis is his daughter. In her weakened state, she is carried aboard the ship and sets sail in an attempt to rescue Toki. As the voyage continues, Enno and the crew begin to feel pity for the girl over her father’s outright rejection.
The story is told in alternating perspectives of Freydis and her journey of self worth and Toki’s imprisonment with Sulke and leads up to the epic battle with a surprising ending.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read If I Stay, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

It has been three years since the accident that killed Mia’s family and changed her life forever. Three years since Mia left for New York and walked out of Adam’s life. Now Mia is a rising star at Julliard and Adam is the star of the tabloids with his rock star life and movie star girlfriend. After a particularly stressful day, Adam finds himself alone in New York City. When he finds himself outside of Carnegie Hall, the first thing he sees is her eyes. There is a poster advertising Mia’s concert that night and Adam decides he needs to hear her play one last time. What he doesn’t count on is her wanting to see him afterwards.

Told from Adam’s point of view and in the familiar style of If I Stay, readers learn Adam’s back story, the aftermath of Mia’s accident and the desolation he has felt since Mia walked out of his life. Join Adam and Mia for one last night together and see where their lives and relationship take them.
Visit Gayle Forman's website.

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

”A curse beyond her darkest fears.”
New Orleans and the southern half of Louisiana have been destroyed by two back-to-back Category Four hurricanes. No one was prepared for the devastation and no one returned. Thirteen years later, “no one in their right mind ventured past The Rim.” Now known as New 2, the once grand and now decaying city is privately owned and “A sanctuary for misfits and things that went bump in the night.” The Novem, composed of nine of the oldest families in New Orleans, created what is believed by most to be a sanctuary for the paranormal.
Ari Selkirk has gone to Rocquemore House to find information about her mother who gave her up to the state of Louisiana social services just after her fourth birthday. What Ari was not expecting to find out is that her mother was schizophrenic, had a delusion about snakes under her scalp and committed suicide six months after her self-admittance, on the eve of her twenty-first birthday. Even more surprising to Ari is that family claimed her mother’s body and buried her in Greece. The doctor she speaks to, Dr. Giroux, offers to give her a box of her mother’s things. She is a little disappointed by the light weight of the box.

At seventeen, Ari has teal-colored eyes and hair that is “the bane of her existence.” Light in color it looked silver in the moonlight and was full, glossy and unnaturally straight. Her hair brings her unwanted attention and always grows back no matter what Ari does to rid herself of it. Her current foster parents are bail bondsmen and Ari is employed in the “family business.” They are supportive of her desire to find out more about her birth mother. So when Ari finds a letter her mother wrote to her, she is surprised it tells her to run and stay away from New Orleans and those who can identity her. She decides to make a quick solo trip to New 2 to find her birth records, even though she knows it’s dangerous. Ari is attacked by a man who is intent on killing her. When she finally gets the upper hand and delivers a fatal blow, he fingers a strand of her hair and ‘so beautiful” before dying. Before she can regain her senses, a truck halts and asks Ari if she is alright.
Ari realizes that it is actually a mail truck from New 2 and she decides to hitch a ride with the driver, twelve-year-old Crank. Crank also offers Ari the opportunity to stay at her family’s house and she accepts. Crank tells Ari that her brother can help her locate the information she is looking for. When Ari meets Henri she immediately notices his eyes are like her own, not quite normal. After seeing the rest of the family, Ari decides to leave. But before she can, a guy walks in the door and looks at Ari “like he could see inside her and says, ‘They’re already looking for you, you know.’” The guy turns out to be Sebastian and he agrees to help Ari find her birth records. When she goes back through her mother’s box of things, she finds an old newspaper clipping and a letter her grandmother wrote to her mother. Their family is cursed. The women don’t live to the age of 21 and always leave a young daughter behind. Unfortunately her birth records bring more questions, including a link to a member of the Novem who happens to be Sebastian’s grandmother. Ari’s day gets worse when a voodoo practitioner refuses to remove the curse from her.
Join Ari on her journey of self-discovery as she tries to find out her family history and why she fits in in New 2. Who wants to kill her and what do the Novem want with her? And why is everyone she meets terrified of her? Nothing will stop Ari even when the stakes are too high or too dangerous. Just who or what is Ari?
Part paranormal, part mythology with a bit of mystery and romance thrown in, Darkness Becomes Her is the first in Kelly Keaton’s Gods and Monsters series.