Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More New Series Fiction

First I have to say, these books are And they mostly have girls on the cover. So if you dislike books that are pink with girls on the cover, you might want to try another post. But I will say this: Publishers market books to the people they feel will be the most likely to buy said books in vast quantities, so be aware. Sometimes this is misleading, so you'll want to be aware of that as you pick out books for yourself!

Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine has a strange title, but I promise it will make perfect sense when you've read the book. It's also one of the many books that looks like "chick-lit" but ISN'T. Valentine also wrote Me, the Missing, and the Dead (I told you about that a few months ago. A few weeks ago? You don't really expect me to keep track, I hope), which I couldn't put down.

Rowan's brother is dead. Her father is gone. Her mother won't get out of bed. And Rowan is raising her little sister, Stroma, and trying to keep it all together.

She's waiting in line when a boy walks up to her and hands her a photo negative, claiming she'd dropped it. Knowing she hadn't, Rowan tries to argue, but in the end, keeps it. Once developed, she discovers a mystery.

The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon--and Me, Ruby Oliver by E.Lockhart, is the third Ruby Oliver book.

This is one series you'll want to give a chance, even if you're not the pink-girl-book kind of person. Why? In short, E. Lockhart is squirt-milk-out-your-nose hilarious. She takes funny to places it's never been before, and her novel The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks made me laugh so hard I felt like I'd done a thousand sit-ups the next morning (did you know you could pull your abdominal muscles when you laugh? You can. It is a painful discovery).

So if you are drawn to humorous books, give Ruby Oliver a chance. She won't disappoint.

From Frewin Jones' Faerie Path series, The Seventh Daughter*...

and The Immortal Realm

We have Bleach 10 (more volumes to come).

The sequel to Rules of the Road (some of you might remember that from Battle of the Books this year), Best Foot Forward. Both are by Joan Bauer. But you Battle alumni should have known that already.

It is on my reading list. But someone else gets it first. Because I am Nice.

Spells, the sequel to Wings, by Aprilynne Pike

Because you ASKED, I got it in hardcover--because, again, I am Nice. This installment continues Laurel's story as she struggles to balance her human life with her faerie identity. She doesn't want to leave her home--or David, her human boyfriend--behind. When she's summoned to Avalon, though, Laurel meets the faerie sentry Tamani, and is instantly drawn to him. Now Laurel must choose, and deal with the heartbreak that could result.

The Chaos Walking series continues with The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness.

Todd is running with the wounded Viola, but the two find themselves captured by Mayor Prentiss. Todd and Viola are separated, and he is imprisoned while the Mayor reveals his horrifying new order. Todd has no idea where Viola is, if she is safe, or if she is still alive. He doesn't know who the Answer are. And then the bombing begins.

The third book in this series, Monsters of Men, is due out September 28, so if you haven't started reading this series, now is the time. I've got Monsters of Men preordered for us, so watch for it on the new book cart after its release!

Have you read this yet?

You should. Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter, Gallagher Girls book four.

I got hit by a car while reading this book. I couldn't put it down, so I was reading it and walking, and all of a sudden, out of the blue, BAM!

It didn't really hurt all that much. It was mostly just a nudge, not even enough to really bruise. I was so surprised; I looked up from my book and realized--

The car was standing still.

I had walked right into it, while it sat parked in a spot in a space in the lot, just as it was supposed to be. It wasn't even pulled up too far or at a funny angle. It was just like all the cars around it.

And we have all of Lurlene McDaniel's Angels in Pink series, Raina's Story, Holly's Story, and Kathleen's Story.

Three best friends Raina, Holly, and Kathleen sign up as volunteers at Parker-Sloan General Hospital at Raina's persuasion. The three girls find romance, discover family secrets, and cope with tragedy as they grow closer together.

Next we have Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard--or, to clarify, we have Pretty Little Liars, Flawless, Perfect, Unbelievable, Wicked, Killer, and Heartless--the first seven books in the series.

Now, I have a little confession to make.

Those covers kind of freak me out.

You know how some dolls aren't cute at all, but kind of scary? Or really scary? The dolls on these books look mean, but not frightening, until you flip the books over and look at the back covers.

You see, the dolls on the covers were made to look identical to the models featured on the back, and it's CREEPY. I've taken to referring to them as The Demon Barbie Doll Books, so don't be confused if I call them that in the future. That's what the publisher gets for putting evil looking Barbie-esque dolls right there on the cover.

As I'm sure you already know, there is a television series based on Shepard's PLL books on ABC Family. I have only seen one episode, because I don't have cable or satillite at home, but it seemed good. It had a Desperate Housewives kind of feel to it--miserable girls with dark secrets who have everything they want but still aren't content, mostly because of the secrets.

Spencer, Aria, Emily and Hanna are all best friends with Alison, who they refer to as A. The five of them share a secret, something none of them talks about. Each of the girls loves A, but one day A vanishes without a trace and the girls feel something that surprises them a little. Relief. Because as wonderful as A was, bright, popular, the center of attention, she was also cruel and manipulative, someone they feared as much as admired.

The real mystery is how A went missing--what happened to her, and how were her friends involved?

Hey, don't look at me! I just started the first book.

*A.R. Quiz-takers BEWARE. The Seventh Daughter was not always the title of this book! The title USED to be The Sorcerer King, but it was SWITCHED in order to confuse you and make you think this book isn't worth any A.R. points when, in fact, it IS! Just look up The Sorcerer King when you want to take the quiz. And, for the record, the reading level is 5.8 and it's worth 12 points.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Did you know that...

Every year the ALA (librarian-speak for the American Library Association) reveals the Teen's Top Ten--the books judged to be the top ten new titles for teen readers?

But the ALA doesn't pick them. You do.

You can now skip my whole rant by going to the Place Where Voting Happens:

Vote here!

Now that you're done, you don't have to listen to me anymore. Isn't that nice?

If, however, you chose to stick around, you get to hear more fascinating information about the 2010 Teens Top Ten list!

Lots of you just left, didn't you?


In order for the list to happen, teens nominate their favorite books of the previous year. Nominators are members of book groups in 15 schools and public libraries all over the country. Kind of like what your math or science teacher would call a "random sampling"--a smallish-group of teens that can represent the whole (which is you).

Now we get to talk statistics! Because I feel like it, that's why.

When you hear on the news, "80% of today's youth finds this blog post boring," it isn't just a made-up number like that statistic is up there. Why? Because that would be a lie and the news people would get sued. Or eight out of ten of you would all think that this blog entry is boring, because the news said you had to. Wait. Maybe not that last one.

You can tell my statistic is made up because it is a very low number for a blog about statistics. I mean, if I really asked you how boring you found statistics, you would say "VERY BORING!" or roll your eyes and walk away. Most of you would do this. Except for my friend Kat who actually went to school for Math and Crunches Numbers all day long. She told me I could call her if I needed to do math in my head, like to figure out sales tax or how big a tip to leave. Kat is nice.

But most of you, I'm guessing, would call statistics "boring," leaving me with no other choice but to MAKE YOU BORED! And if I really asked all of you, we might, perhaps find out that 99.9999% of you find statistics to be skull-crushingly, mind-bendingly, sleep inducingly boring.

Or we might find that 33.8% of you hate statistics, 12.2% of you don't really care whether I talk about statistics or not because you're indifferent to statistics in general, and all the rest of you LOVE statistics and dance around the room when someone starts talking about them.

In order to find out how many of you think I'm boring, I could go out and ask you each, "Do you think statistics are boring?" And then you would answer me. Then I could tally up my results and tell you with complete certainty that X% of you think I am boring and Y% of you hang on my every word.

But let's face it. I am not a people person. I like to sit in the back of the room with my book and pretend I don't exist. That makes things quieter, you know? So I would need to do what all other scientists and pollsters around the world do, which is CHEAT.

That's what it is, really. At least, that's what it is when you're me and someone tries to explain statistics to you.

Most statistics are complied using Random Sampling (which is not a proper noun, but it looks more important that way). Using my Boredom Poll model, I would feed, say, the yearbook from your high school into a computer. The computer would then spit out names of people it picked using a complicated formula that makes it random. This is where the philosopher in me wants to say, "Nothing is random." But that's a blog for another day. An accurate sample is BIG--the more people the better. Let's say, for the purpose of argument, that I rounded up 100 people from all the area high schools using my computer program and asked them my questions. That would be a Random Sample. And, given how our country schools are pretty tiny, it is an okay-ish sample size. I would then take your answers and have Kat crunch the numbers to tell me the real percent of you who think, "Laura is being very boring in this blog post, and I wish she would talk more about sneezing pandas

or angry goats,

or the time you got caught in the revolving door,

which kind of looked like this but without all the broken glass.

Now back to my point.

The ALA takes a random sample of teens from around the country and asks them, "What were your favorite books this year?" And they give the ALA lists. And the ALA takes the lists and compiles them into a Master List and then YOU VOTE!

And once you've voted, the ALA compiles the votes AGAIN and then during Teen Read Week, which is October 17--22, it announces the 2010 TEEN'S TOP TEN!

And then we throw a party because Paper Towns won. Oh. Wait. That was last year.

Voting for this year's list opens TODAY! So...


Monday, August 16, 2010

New Series Fiction


The Dangerous Days of Daniel X: Watch the Skies by James Patterson and Ned Rust!

Daniel fights creatures of gut-wrenching terror in this second installment of alien mayhem!

The fourth Blue Bloods novel: The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa De La Cruz...

The Blue Bloods are in a battle for their very survival as the threat of the Silver Bloods grows and--I don't know what that means. Sorry. Romance, vampirism, and so forth. Enjoy.