December 31, 2015

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves was started by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews.

This is a fun meme were people share the books they got this week. 
I honestly don't have time to do this weekly, so I've decided to do it once a month and share what I got for the month.

For Review:
(Sorry I realized a chunk of these I shared last month! I need to track better!)
Mouse Scouts (1 & 2) by Sarah Dillard
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
Going Where It's Dark by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Grayling's Song by Karen Cushman
Me & Miranda Mullaly by Jacob Gerhardt

Life is But a Dream by Brian James
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
City of Thirst by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis (my friend gave me this SIGNED!!)
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
The Geography of You and Me  by Jennifer E. Smith
NIL Unlocked by Lynne Matson

Underwater by Marisa Reichardt
Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom
Calvin by Martine Leavitt
Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos
The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman
Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

And Bought
I LOVE this series!!!
I didn't have the whole series myself. 
Bits & Pieces
Flesh & Bone
Rot & Ruin
Dust & Decay
Fire & Ash

And that's my book haul for the month!!! Goodness I need to get reading!

December 30, 2015

Required Reading for the Class I'm Taking

If you haven't seen - I'm back in school to get my Library Media Specialist license.  
I'm super excited about this!  
Well one of the classes I'm taking this semester is about young adult books!!!  

Below are some of the books I'm required to read.  
Oh life is rough!

The kinda nice part - some on the list I've already read (like any book in the Divergent series!)

I've taught this for 19 years!!!

Plus I have to read 
Witness (read it)
Chains - audio book
Seventeenth Summer
Eleanor and Park (I've already read it)
Bomb: The Race to Build- and Steal - the World's Most Dangerous Weapon

This is going to be the best class!!!

Now the books for my other class......not so fun!

December 22, 2015

This Raging Light Release Day Blitz! +GIVEAWAY

I am so excited that THIS RAGING LIGHT by Estelle Laure releases today, and that I get to share the news!
I've been seeing this book around a lot, and it looks fantastic! 

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Estelle Laure, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a finished copy of the book and a bottle of nail polish that matches the cover courtesy of Estelle, HMH, and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

About The Book:

Author: Estelle Laure
Release Date: December 22nd, 2015
Pages: 288
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
"A funny, poetic, big-hearted reminder that life can—and will—take us all by surprise.” —Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Can the best thing happen at the worst time?

Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

Exclusive Excerpt:

When Wrenny and I roll up the hill to Eden’s house in Mom’s ancient Corolla, Digby and his dad, John, are outside playing basketball, and I want to get in the house as fast as possible,
because otherwise I might be trapped here all day, staring. I get a little twinge of something seeing a dad and his kid playing ball like dads and kids are supposed to. That’s a real
thing, and my hand wants to cover Wren’s face so she can’t see all that she is missing.
Which reminds me. “Wren.”
“Yeah?” She’s wiping at her shirt, reading a book on her lap, and she’s a little bit filthy, her hair greasy and knotty in spite of my efforts this morning. At some point the braids came out, and she’s reverted to wild.
“You know how Mom hasn’t been around lately?”
She stops. Tightens. “Yeah,” she says.
“Well, we don’t want anyone to know about that, okay?
Even Janie and Eden and Digby and John.”
“But Mom’s on vacation. She’s getting her head together. She’s coming back.”
“Okay, yes,” I say, “but still. We don’t want to tell anyone, because they might not understand that. They might get the wrong idea.”
“Like that she left us permanently?” There is so much more going on inside that Wrenny-head than I can ever know.
“Maybe, or at least for longer than she was supposed to.” I reach for the handle to the door because I can’t look at her. “Someone might think that.”
“She didn’t, though,” she says. “She’s Mom.”
“Of course she didn’t.” Lie.
“So who cares what anyone thinks?”
“Wren, just don’t, okay?”
“Some things are private.” I open the door, then lean back across and wipe uselessly at her shirt with my thumb. “Like Mom being on vacation. So, okay?”
“I said okay, okay?” She gets out and waits, stares at me like I’m the most aggravating person on earth. “Hey, Lu?”
“Yeah?” I say, bracing myself for what’s next.
“Your mama’s so fat, she left the house in high heels and came back in flip-flops.”
I would tell her that I hate her new obsession with fat jokes, but I’m not in the mood for any dawdling, so I half laugh and get moving. I want to get inside and quick because there’s also the other thing. And by “other” I mean what makes me sweat just standing here. And by “thing” I mean Digby, who I have known since I was seven but who lately makes a fumbling moronic moron out of me, a full-on halfwit. Ask me my name when I’m in his presence and I’m not likely to be able to tell you. I’d probably just say, “Lllll . . . lllllllu . . .” and you’d have to catch the drool running down my chin.
I know. It’s not at all attractive.
But really. Tall, sweaty, and not wearing a shirt, so the muscles are all right there for the watching. He doesn’t exactly glisten, on account of the fact that he’s whiter than white, that he tans by getting freckles so he’s covered in them now after a whole summer outside. But seeing his hair all plastered to his forehead, his body so long and lean, looping around his dad to get the ball into the hoop, I want to fall out of the car and onto my knees in the driveway, say Lord have mercy, hallelujah, write sonnets and paint him, and worship that one little curve where his neck meets his shoulder that is just so, so perfect.
He is beautiful.
Which is why when he says hi as I pass him, I barely raise a pinky in response. There are two main problems here, aside from the fact that he is Eden’s twin and that’s all kinds of weird.
One, he’s had the same girlfriend since the dawn of time. They’re pinned, she wears his jacket, their marriage certificate is practically already signed. Angels bless their freakin’ union. And two, if I ever did get a chance with him, like if he ever kissed me or something, I would die of implosion. I know I sound like a twelve-year-old mooning over some celebrity, and not the extremely self-possessed woman-tobe that I actually am, but something about him makes me lose my mind. Something about the way he moves, about his himness — it shatters me all the way down. So I hope he never does kiss me. That would be nothing but a disaster. No one needs to see me fall apart like that. Least of all him.
Actually, maybe least of all me.

About Estelle:
Estelle Laure is a Vonnegut worshipper who believes in love and magic and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theater Arts from New Mexico State University and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and thinks everyone should have to wait tables or work in a kitchen at least once in their lives. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her children.

Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a hardcover of THIS RAGING LIGHT and a bottle of Essie Nail Polish that matched the book cover. US Only.

Ends on December 31st at Midnight EST!

December 21, 2015

Snap Shot Reading: Me and Miranda Mullaly by Jake Gerhardt

In an effort to keep my blogging simple, I like to just take a picture of the book I'm currently reading.  

Today that would be:

Really liking it so far! Can't wait to see how it ends.

Me & Miranda Mullaly by Jake Gerhardt

December 20, 2015

The Broke and The Bookish Secret Santa Unboxing!!! #tbtbsanta

Lately I've jumped in and done a lot of book swap-type events. 
The latest was hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it was a Secret Santa Swap.

Today I'm sharing the wonderful box of goodies I received.
My Secret Santa was Jamie at Fiction Fare!!
I love that blog!

So here's what I saw when I opened the box.  
How fun to have everything wrapped!

This cute little item was nestled within the wrapped gifts.  Isn't it adorable?? My 8 year old loves it!

Each package I opened was so fun.  I loved this book ornament! I have tons of owl ones, but no book ones, so this was perfect.

Then I got other goodies!

Look a JAKE RYAN Funko.  For those who grew up in the 80's you'll know the importance of this.  

And finally the books!!

NIL Unlocked (wahooo!!!)
Wither (no I haven't read it yet!)
The Pledge!
Life is But a Dream (I've wanted this one for awhile!)

All of it!
(like my daughter trying to get out of the shot)

Thank you so much for everything.  It was fun and awesome and amazing and thoughtful!

December 17, 2015

Cover Reveal! Going Geek +GIVEAWAY

I love doing cover reveals because I LOVE book covers, so I'm excited today to be a part of the cover reveal hosted by My, My Shelf and I and be able to share with you the cover reveal of :

Going Geek 
Charlotte Huang



Author: Charlotte Huang
Publisher: Delacorte/Random House
Release Date: Fall 2016

Synopsis: In GOING GEEK, a girl is forced to stand up for who she really is - if she even knows - when her friends dump her and she is forced to hang out with the fringe crowd at school.


Charlotte Huang is a graduate of Smith College and received an MBA from Columbia Business School, which is clearly something every aspiring writer should do. When not glued to her computer, she cheers her two sons on at sporting events and sometimes manages to stay up late enough to check out bands with her music agent husband. Charlotte lives in Los Angeles and is the author of For the Record (Delacorte, 2015)

Media links:

Twitter: @charlottexhuang
Insta: @charlottexhuang
Snapchat: @charlottexhuang
FB: Charlotte Huang
Tumblr: charlottexhuang

OK now for the reveal!!!!





Love it!!!
I loved the washed out golden colors! And the tag line is great.
It reminds me of starting college, having fun and learning so much about who I was!

1 Winner will get the very first ARC of GOING GEEK 
(US Only. Prize will ship when item becomes available)
Must be 13+ To Enter

Sweeps/Giveaway accounts are not eligible to participate.. See Terms & Conditions for more info 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

December 16, 2015

WoW: Raging Sea (Undertow #2) by Michael Buckley

This post is inspired by a meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

Today I'm Waiting On:

Release Date: February 2nd, 2016

In the first book of Michael Buckley’s Undertow trilogy, the Alpha arrived and the world was never the same. At the start of the second book, most of south Brooklyn is in ruins and the nation is terrified. Nearly everyone that Lyric Walker loves is either missing or presumed dead, including the mesmerizing prince Fathom. It’s up to Lyric to unite the Alpha before the second wave of a cataclysmic invasion wipes out mankind for good. 

I LOVED the first book in this series - way more than I even thought I would.  So I really want to know what is going to happen to Lyric and Fathom and the whole cast of characters! 

December 12, 2015

In the Spotlight: The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow by Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson

So I was bumming around Twitter (@justkeepreading) and saw a Tweet about a book, so I checked it out.  It looks adorable, so I thought I'd share it with you!  I just think this looks like a fun, cute, mysterious, suspenseful and enjoyable book!

The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow 
by Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson

Fear Not the Unexpected. 

Eleven-year-old Fairday Morrow is less than thrilled that her family is moving thousands of miles from civilization to the quiet country town of Ashpot, Connecticut, where she’s absolutely certain she’ll die of boredom.

As if leaving New York City and her best friend, Lizzy, the only other member of the elite Detective Mystery Squad (DMS), weren’t bad enough, Fairday is stuck living in the infamous Begonia House, a creepy old Victorian with dark passageways, a gigantic dead willow tree, and a mysterious past.

Before she can even unpack, strange music coming from behind a padlocked door leads Fairday up a spiral staircase and into a secret room, where an ancient mirror, a brass key, and a strange picture of a red-haired lady are the first in a series of clues that takes the members of the Detective Mystery Squad on an amazing adventure. 

December 9, 2015

WoW Under Their Skin by Margaret Peterson Haddix

This post is inspired by a meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

Today I'm Waiting On:

Release Date: January 5, 2016

From New York Times bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix comes the first book in a brand-new thrilling series about twins who are on a quest to discover the secrets being kept by their new family.

Nick and Eryn's mom is getting remarried, and the twelve-year-old twins are skeptical when she tells them their lives won't change much. Well, yes, they will have to move. And they will have a new stepfather, stepbrother, and stepsister. But Mom tells them not to worry. They won't ever have to meet their stepsiblings.

This news puzzles Nick and Eryn, so the twins set out on a mission to find out who these kids are - and why they're being kept hidden.

Ok so it's Margaret Peterson Haddix! How could I not be interested in this one???? And I know so many of the kids I taught would be interested in this one as well.  

December 8, 2015

In the Spotlight: The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier

I was introduced to this book awhile back, and I just have to share it! 

First here's what it's about:

The Simpsons meets  The Walking Dead in this hilarious post-apocalyptic graphic novel for middle-grade readers. 

Ever since the monster apocalypse hit town, average thirteen year old Jack Sullivan has been living in his tree house, which he's armed to the teeth with catapults and a moat, not to mention video games and an endless supply of Oreos and Mountain Dew scavenged from abandoned stores. But Jack alone is no match for the hoards of Zombies and Winged Wretches and Vine Thingies, and especially not for the eerily intelligent monster known only as Blarg. So Jack builds a team: his dorky best friend, Quint; the reformed middle school bully, Dirk; Jack's loyal pet monster, Rover; and Jack's crush, June. With their help, Jack is going to slay Blarg, achieve the ultimate Feat of Apocalyptic Success, and be average no longer! Can he do it? 

Told in a mixture of text and black-and-white illustration, this is the perfect book for any kid who's ever dreamed of starring in his or her own comic book or video game. And stay tuned for the sequel, coming in Summer 2016.

Praise for the book:

This terrifically funny illustrated novel…[is] snarky end-of-the-world fun.”
 Publishers Weekly, starred review

A gross-out good time with surprisingly nuanced character development.”
School Library Journal, starred review

“Terrifyingly fun! Max Brallier’s The Last Kids on Earth delivers big thrills and even bigger laughs.” —Jeff Kinney, author of the #1New York Times bestseller Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Doesn't this sound fun and cute! I mean, I love The Walking Dead, so that makes me interested right away. I know, I know - is that really ok for middle school kids? This book is. It's fun, has some suspense and the graphic novel aspect is perfect. I know I would have many kids that would love this especially if they like graphic novels!

About the Author and Illustrator
Max Brallier ( is the author of more than twenty books and games for children and adults, including the pick-your-own-path adventure Can YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? He is the creator and writer of Galactic Hot Dogs, an ongoing middle-grade web serial which was released as a book this spring. He writes for licensed properties including Adventure Time, Regular Show, and Uncle Grandpa. Under the pen name Jack Chabert, he is the creator and author of the Eerie Elementary series for Scholastic Books. He is a game designer for the crazy fun virtual world Poptropica and does freelance game design for numerous online properties. In the olden days, he worked in the marketing department at St. Martin's Press. Max lives in New York City with his wife.

Douglas Holgate ( has been a freelance comic book artist and illustrator based in Melbourne, Australia for more than ten years. Douglas has illustrated comics for Image, Dynamite, Abrams, and Penguin Random House. Follow Douglas on Twitter @douglasbot.

I was challenged by the publisher to create a Last Kids on Earth survival kit—what would you a make sure to have in your treehouse at the end of the world?

Here's my list:
I guess a weapon on some sort....
Protein bars (can't live on chocolate and coffee alone!)
Pictures of my kids and family
Something to make me laugh
Blanket (the softer the better!)
Toothbrush and toothpaste

What would you include on your list?

December 6, 2015

Cover Crush: According to my 8 Year Old

This weekend we were at Barnes and Noble.  My sons and I headed over to the young adult section, and my 8 year old sat down on the bench right by the shelves.  
He says, "I just love seeing all the book covers."  Kid after my own heart.  
To keep him busy while I looked at books I told him to pick out five covers he liked.  

Here is what he picked!

Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith

Undivided by Neal Shusterman

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Reawakened by Colleen Houck

Apollyon by Jennier L. Armentrout

I just realized typing these all out that he chose one word titles!

So how do you think he did??

December 5, 2015

Blog Tour: Review +GIVEAWAY: Dead Boy by Laurel Gale

Very excited today to be part of the blog tour for Dead Boy by Laurel Gale!

About the Book

Crow Darlingson died in the 4th grade. But he’s still alive. And growing, actually. He can’t eat or taste anything, his body parts sometimes fall off (mom always sews them back on, though), and he’s only allowed to leave his house once per year, on Halloween.

Crow’s parents are separating, and despite their reassurances, he’s pretty sure it’s his fault. After all, having an undead son can’t be much easier than being one. Sneaking out at night only makes things worse, but he can’t resist the chance at a real friendship with Melody Plympton, the new girl next door, who loves mystery more than she minds the stink of his flesh or the maggots that sometimes crawl out of his nose.

Together they investigate the mysterious Meera - a monster living in the nearby park. Logic and fear tell Crow to stay away, but fuzzy memories lure him on. When Crow and Melody venture into its underground lair, Crow’s not just risking the half-life he clings to. He’s also risking the only friend he’s had in years.

The importance of friendship is crystallized as Crow and Melody face tests of loyalty, courage, and honor in this macabre middle grade novel by a debut author.

Ok at first I thought this would be just a book that was kinda silly about a boy, who died, and what now dealing with the ins and outs of being dead. You know - having maggots on him, limbs falling off, the smell. And yes those are touched on (so a word of caution to the squeamish), but what I liked was that it went so far beyond that! The book could've just stuck with the sight gags, but it didn't. At it's core it was a book about a boy who just wanted to be like any other kid his age - to go outside and play, to have friends, but he wasn't able to.

Now to tell that story it tells the story of how Crow's parents brought him back. This was a nice mystery mixed with action that pulled the story along. I kept wanting to know the full story just like Crow did! What happened? Could it be undone? What he hopelessly stuck this way forever? I had to keep reading because I wanted answers just like he did. And I wanted him to get answers. I liked Crow, and I wanted him to know because he was such a nice kid he deserved to know! With a story like this I think it's important to like the main character - and like him I did!

One character I didn't like much of the story - his mother! Oh did I want to shake her sometimes. I know that what she was doing was out of love and concern, but I was still frustrated with her and her choices!

In the end - a nice story that went beyond what I thought it would!

The publisher has offered up a copy for me to giveaway!

To enter:
Must be a US resident
Must be at least 13
Fill out the Rafflecopter

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December 2, 2015

WoW The Big Dark by Rodman Philbrick

This post is inspired by a meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

Today I am waiting on:

Release Date: January 5, 2016

In this page-turning adventure by Newbery Honor author Rodman Philbrick, a solar event knocks out our planet's electricity, and a boy must risk his life to save his sick mother. 

What would you do if every spark of electricity suddenly vanished, as if somebody had flipped a switch on the entire planet? Cars won't start, the heat shuts off, there's no water in your faucet, and your radio, TV, and flashlight go dark. Everyone in Charlie's small town is baffled.

But as time passes, lawlessness erupts and takes an ugly turn. When the market and pharmacy are torched by an anti-Semitic arsonist, Charlie realizes his mother will die without her medicine. So he dons skis and heads off alone, seeking the nearest hospital. After traveling fifty miles through brutal ice and snow, Charlie encounters a burned-out, looted city of terrified citizens. Will he be able to save his mom?

Heroic, eloquent, and unforgettable, The Big Dark raises timely questions about responsibility, tolerance, and love.

I think it just sounds really good! It reminds me of a toned down version of Life as We Knew It, and I really liked that one. Besides I love this author as well!