Friday, April 27, 2012

On my Reading Wishlist

Although my "To Read" Wishlist is several miles long, I thought I'd give you a sneak peak at what I'm looking forward to. 

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Released May 8, 2012

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Released May 1, 2012

More here!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

YA Classics

This week (for class) I'm reading some YA Classics. Although I've read all three before, it has been awhile and I thought I could use some review. Each of these are great, thought provoking books that have a lesson in them. See my original thoughts posted below and I'll update with more current ideas as I get them finished. What are your favorite YA Classics? 

Go Ask Alice
by Anoymous

Thoughts before Reading - I read this in the 7th grade and I scared me. I never even considered doing drugs or anything that was put in front of me because anything could be a gateway to something worse. Alice's life was a disaster and this was definitely a warning. Now I don't believe that this was actually written by a girl named Alice (how did she sum up the story at the end?) and Snoops has some interesting thoughts on that as well. I look forward to re-reading this and seeing what I liked about it before. It was definitely one of the books that I can say shaped my life.

Thoughts Now: Wow. That is pretty much what I have to say here. The story is honest, almost too honest, and pretty frightening, especially the end. However the tone of "this is a warning" is a little too heavy handed. Pairing this with the fact that everyone knows this book was not written by a teenage girl in the 1970's, means that this is a book based in a lie and I do not believe teens today can relate to it.

My ideas of the story itself is that it is dated and the narrator is pretty out of touch. The book is also pretty heavy with swearing, drug use (obviously), sex, and the emotions are out of control. Knowing more about drugs and how they work (after what feels like a lifetime of Psychology Classes), I don't feel like I can believe that this is a first hand account most of the time. I used to recommend this book, but after this re-read I don't think I will anymore.

The Giver
by Lois Lowry

Thoughts Before Reading: I can still picture that apple scene in my mind when he sees color for the first time. I had never read anything like this before (probably where my love for dystopia lit comes from now) and I read this book so fast my mom thought I had just skimmed it. This is one of the few books I totally remember every part of, it was so awesome and terrible to me. I can't wait to re-read it and gather up some of that magic again!!

Thoughts Now: There is still something magical about about that apple moment! This time my focus was on the idea that knowledge was not shared with the masses. It reminded me of The Forest of Hands and Teeth and how the selected "elders" hold all of the knowledge and no one thinks to ask. 

In addition I think that the story focuses on the question of what happens to us when we die or when we get so old we are no longer useful. The story is pretty political in that way and reminds me of a Hitler type society where the old, disabled, etc. are removed from the masses. This seems to dehumanize them, even if the general public doesn't know it is going on, and soon they stop seeing in color. This would make an excellent English project if anyone needs one!

The Diary of a Young Girl
by Anne Frank

Thoughts before reading - I won't lie, this wasn't my favorite book. I think I read it in the 9th grade and I couldn't believe how honest this little Jewish girl was about her sexuality. I also don't understand how all of that "flirtation" with the boy went on right under her parent's noses (literally, weren't they in like 250 square feet?). Instead of the horror of WWII, Hitler and all of the terrible things that happened to Anne, all I remember was her being a little too flirtatious. Hopefully this re-read will help me see why this book is such a great one!


Sometimes I just feel Mini!

Check out my other blog (just started!) ... Mini-Lizz the Librarian.
It is filled with all sorts of story time ideas, picture books I love, great Chapter books, play ideas, game ideas, links to video and audio story times, crafts, lesson plans, and information on childhood literacy.

Why would you want to miss out?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What I'm thinking

I could write a lovely post about all the books I picked up today and how excited I am to start reading them, but ...

(Borrowed from Book Riot's Facebook page)

In case you're curious - it's The Forest of Hands and Feet :)

Insurgent is Coming Soon!

I am counting down the days to Insurgent! Divergent left us hanging (thanks Veronica Roth!) and I'm so excited to see how the story continues. 

If you are like me, Divergent isn't totally fresh in my mind ... luckily Veronica Roth decided to give us a little refresher before we read the book. Click on the pic below and it will take you to her site. 

Just a few more days! I can't wait to read more about Tris, Four, and everyone else!

City of Bones

City of Bones
The Settings

Cassandra Clare posted on her blog this morning these great pictures of the settings in City of Bones.

Why is it that this movie is already so exciting and it doesn't come out for another year?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cinna Meme!

Have you made your hipster Cinna Meme yet? Go and make one now!

Shameless Plug :)

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Okay, so when I thought I had gotten The Forest of Hands and Teeth at the library last week, I had actually picked up The Girl of Fire and Thorns (their titles are strangely similar). I am on the wait list for The Forest of Hands and Teeth, so that review will be forthcoming. In the mean time, however ...

The Girl of Fire and Thorns
by Rae Carson

First, let me saw how delightful it is that there is finally a book in which the protagonist is chubby - and her life goal isn't to lose weight. I love how Elisa comforts herself with food, without making herself seem utterly pathetic. This makes her "real" and honest ... and I love her for it. She is young, and you can feel that, yet she is mature when she needs to be and is growing in the book. 

Cover, Rae Carson, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Elisa

April 24th

I began this book last night in honor of World Book Night and I definitely carried on until morning, as Ryan suggested. 
This book is an example of why you should read a couple of chapters before deciding a book isn't for you. I always try and give it five (although this rule changes for me periodically). The first couple chapters here were indicating that this isn't the kind of book I love to read. Not that it wasn't great from the beginning, but I just wasn't getting into it. 

However, out of nowhere, the book turned from "okay" to "fantastically exciting!" Elisa is a sixteen year old, second princess who is the bearer of the "godstone". According to legend, the bearer is able to do great things ... and they usually die young.

Her father marries her to a widower King from a neighboring land who doesn't want to tell anyone that they are married just yet (ISN'T THAT STRANGE?? Elisa is concerned too) and their journey to his home is full of peril. 

Just as the first section is ending and you feel like Elisa might be in a good place, something happens once again to make you wonder what is going on? Who is the "good guy?" Who do you trust? Will Elisa ever be safe and carry out her destiny?

Stay tuned, I'm sure I'll have lots to write about this one tomorrow!!

April 24th Part 2

I can't wait! I was almost late to work today because I had trouble putting the book down! I love how our unperfect heroine still has people falling in love with her, even though she isn't the picture of perfection! Elisa is starting to grow and learn what she is meant to do.

Elisa knows her husband is gorgeous, but doesn't love her ... and doesn't want to tell anyone that they are married. My concern in the second book is that he either hasn't gone looking for her or just hasn't looked hard enough. I won't spoil it, but seriously, does the man care?

Furthermore, I love how characters that seemed bad are becoming good (without changing everything they are) and Elisa is so human. Probably my favorite character I've read in awhile. She is strong without being able to do everything for herself, imperfect without feeling pathetic, beautiful and loved without seeming cliched.

I'm 3/4 of the way through and HAVE to finish a paper. Hopefully I'll be awake enough to finish this before I go to bed tonight!

April 25th

What a thrilling end to this great book! I'm not going to give anything away - but that was exciting, thrilling, wonderful, and kept me on the edge of my seat as I finished the book.

Elisa grows up so much, she experiences real loss that the reader can feel (read between the lines: characters die, it isn't overtly sad, but it does happen a couple times in the book). The mental focus of Elisa at the beginning of the book is so different than the Elisa at the end of the book. Even she notices!

I can't wait for book two to come out ...  The Crown of Embers is has a release date of Fall 2012.

I can't wait!

I'll keep you updated when there is a more specific release date ... maybe we will get some previews!!

In the mean time, check out these things for The Girl of Fire and Thorns and go get it from the library today!

See Rae Carson talking about her book in this video

City of Fallen Angels

City of Fallen Angels
by Cassandra Clare

After all of the brother/sister/best friend/slutty girls problems are over, the story blooms before our eyes. At first it might seem like the story is over, but it is far from it. I don't always love it when the tension of a love story has depleted, after all, in television when the main characters finally fall in love, the show is over. However, I think that Cassie handles it well here. The love triangle drama might be over, but family drama and problems between families and friends takes over. 
Simon becomes a problem in this book ... if you haven't read the series I won't give away what has happened to him, but his world starts to spiral and his dating life becomes a little crazy. Clary is always trying to warn him, but helping him cover things up gets her in trouble too.
I love how the descriptions in this book create this new world for the reader. The Downworlders, the council, it is all becoming real in your mind as you read.
Oh, don't worry, thinks aren't perfect for Jace and Clary, how boring would that be, there are no happy endings. But to see about this one you'll have to start reading!

Jace and Clary, image borrowed from Cassandra Clare's Tumblr Page

What would you be? If you had the choice? 

Me? A Warlock of course :)

Check out these links

^^ Official Book Trailer ^^

Monday, April 23, 2012


There once was this book that I picked up at the library, it looked like a book like any other. It sat on my shelf for weeks before I picked it up to read it. And then something magical happened, the book was incredible and I couldn't (wouldn't!) put it down. What was this incredible book you ask?

There are five fractions in this new world, Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Before she was Tris, she was Beatrice - the girl who wasn't happy and not sure what to do about it. After a particularly worrisome test score, she keeps a huge secret and makes and even bigger choice, to leave the faction she was raised in and become a Dauntless. It isn't all that easy though, because Tris isn't really a Dauntless - she is Divergent.

In a world where being Divergent is dangerous, imitation might kills you, at the world can come crashing down at any moment Tris still has to deal with "normal" problems like boys, friends and bullies. 

The twists and turns in this novel won't let you put it down. Be prepared to pull and all nighter and sigh with disappointment when it ends. Lucky for you, the next book, Insurgent, comes out May 1st and you don't have to wait that much longer!!

Things to check out while you are waiting --

Veronica Roth's blog
The beginning of Insurgent on Facebook 
... and Veronica Roth's Tumblr

Dark Artifices

I was going to wait until I was done reviewing all of Cassandra Clare's books before I started blogging about this new one. But I couldn't wait any longer, especially after finding this great picture on Cassandra Clare's Tumblr account this morning!!

Check out what we know about this upcoming book on this website
More of what Cassie writes here
The Dark Artifices has a website here ... with a publication date of 2015!

UPDATE: Sadly, the original publication date has been pushed back a FULL YEAR! Looks like we are waiting until March 2016 for the first installment of the Dark Artifices. Check out more information on Good Reads


I know that people who utilize bookmobiles are in love with them! There are so many cute books out there that romanticize the notion of what being a bookmobile librarian is like. However, after last summer and being lucky enough to help out on our bookmobile, it isn't all sunshine all the time! 
Nevertheless, the bookmobile is such an awesome way for the library to reach their community. The Paris Review (one of my FAVORITES) had an article today on bookmobiles, I've borrowed their pictures here, but you should really go and read the article! 

By far the coolest one - I'd totally get books from the Camel Mobile Library

City of Glass

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
The Third book in the Moral Instruments Series

Another exciting chapter in the Mortal Instruments Series. Clary has to go to Idris on an adventure, unfortunately no one wants her there and she has to sneak it, and then go it alone. Jace is angry that she does this, he specifically doesn't want her in the city. WHY? Doesn't he love her? The love triangle between Clary, Jace, and Simon worsens when she finds out Simon is in jail! There is an epic battle, we learn a bunch about the Shadowhunters and how they came to be, and lots of new characters are presented. 

It was in this book that I really realized that Cassandra Clare was an excellent writer. Not only has she developed this great series, but she really develops characters in a way that I connect with. Yes, I love the main characters - but even the minor characters (who doesn't love Magnus) and the Evil ones have histories that are written with detail and developed fully.

Have I mentioned I love this series?

Book Trailer

Jace Quotes from the book (the boy has GREAT lines) - a bit of a spoiler alert here

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Probably the best book I've read recently ... I'll be blogging about it soon. But in the mean time, check out the graphic and enjoy!

Borrowed from Pinterest, but there was no page to link back to ... anyone know where this one came from?

Passion for Teen Reading

Teens who read are just better than teens who don't. Okay, don't shoot me - they do have stronger vocabs, understand what they read better, and tend to do better in college. 

I was a teen to read ... constantly :) Being a YA Librarian would be one of the best jobs I could think of ... and I love "stalking" that section of the library for all sorts of great books.

I love to read YA and I'm a Teen Advocate. If you are too, check out how to buy and wear these pins proudly! 

Snow White

Grimm's classic tale of Snow White starts like this, 

Once upon a time as a queen sits sewing at her window, she pricks her finger on her needle and three drops of blood fall on the snow that had fallen on her ebony window frame. As she looks at the blood on the snow, she says to herself, "Oh, how I wish that I had a daughter that had skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony". Soon after that, the queen gives birth to a baby girl who has skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony. They name her Princess Snow White. As soon as the child is born, the queen dies.

Sadly, the story is not very well attended to in silver screen versions. IMDB tells us that there are 20 movies with the title Snow White, but that doesn't include movies that don't include name in the title, like Willa (An American Snow White)

Okay, before I go off on an tangent, let's look at four of the movies and do a little comparison. 

1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

I seriously love this movie. It was one of the first movies I saw in the theater. It was Disney's first movie (in 1938) and one of the first full-length animated films. As for staying close to the story, it doesn't. The witch is pretty real and it is darker than Disney would make a movie now, but it glosses over quite a bit of the story line. And the Dwarfs, don't get me started. And true love's kiss? Okay, moving on.

2. Snow White and the Huntsmen 

Obviously I haven't seen it yet, but this is what IMDB says about it::

Snow White is the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen. Unable to tolerate the insult to her vanity, the evil queen decides that Snow White must die. The queen sends a huntsman to kill Snow White. However the huntsman finds himself unable to murder the innocent young woman, and instead ends up training her to become a warrior capable of threatening the queen's reign.

Okay, so it sounds pretty good. Nothing like the original Grimm version, but pretty good. I was actually excited about this one, until they cast it. Kristen Stewart - the girl with one expression playing Snow White? Snow White, the one with they fairest face in the land? Have a little respect for your audience here Hollywood, you can't cast her and expect us to think it is okay - we don't go to the movies to see her (in fact, I try and avoid her). I won't see this in the theater and might not even rent it. She isn't my favorite.

3. Mirror, Mirror

Julia Robberts is playing the evil Step-mother? I know the woman can act, but being evil isn't as easy as it looks (insert maniacal laugh here). I love something dark, which is why I love the Grimm stories. This looks delightful and fun, which isn't what Snow White is about. The tag line says "The Snow White Legend Comes Alive" ... what story did they read? The evil step-mother wanted to eat Snow White's heart. 

Does this look like the sort of woman who would eat a heart?

4. Snow White - Tale of Terror

I really thought I'd watch this and it would be more like the original story. It was, sorta. It also made my insides crawl a little. It wasn't really scary, just disturbing. Maybe that is what Snow White should be like. But this was all about the Wicked Step Mother and not really about Snow White at all. 

The casting was great, but the addition of some adult themes was a marketing ploy I think.

Now I need an open letter to Tim Burton asking him to please fix the mess that we are in. We need a real Snow White (not anything silly like he did with Alice, but something wonderful like Sweeney Todd). 

Desert Island Picks

Okay, so you are stuck on a desert island. In addition to wishing for a great pair of sunglasses and some major sunblock, these are my top five fiction picks for the beachy vacation I'll be having until someone finds me. (Although, I'd like to wish for a Kindle and a solar charger because then I could have a whole ton of books ... but, you know, I'll play along).

These aren't in any order ... if I could only choose one ... well, I couldn't

1. The Complete Works of T.S. Eliot

2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

3. Pride and Prejudice

4. 1984 (because I've never read it and always mean to)

5. Wuthering Heights

 Looking at these you do not see my current readying style. I love YA fiction, Dystopian lit, Fantasy novels. Instead my list has three classic novels, a book of hard to understand poetry (although The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is probably one of my favorite pieces of literature ever), and a Harry Potter book. In my defense, these are all I'll have, I want them to be books I love to re-read, I like to wrap myself up in these stories.

I'll leave you with some desert island pics to get you in the mood for making your own top five choices.
(Pictures from Private Islands Online)

Sunday is for Library Musings

Quotes about books, words, and writing make me happy. Enjoy your Sunday!