Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Win a Copy of Mockingjay!

Have you finished it yet?

I had my own, personal copy of Mockingjay preordered from the moment The Internet would let me do it, back before it had a cover or even a name! When it finally arrived, I carried it around with me for three days without even opening it, because I felt it was "too precious to read."

I'm always a bit worried about the end of a series--any series. It's far too easy for authors to try to cram in more information than is necessary or leave out so much that we're all frustrated that we don't know how, for example, Harry and his friends managed to get from the battlefield to, well, the rest of their lives. Sadly, each reader thinks that a different amount of information is vital. Some would be satisfied with the knowledge that life would go on, while others would want to know the birth dates of the protagonist's children, their occupation, their yearly gross income, the make and model of their car, and so forth.

I am somewhere in the middle. If an author wraps up two hundred pages of conflict with a paragraph designed to convince me that everything will be just fine after all, I will not believe them. Instead, I will roll my eyes, sigh, and pick up the next book from my reading pile. I have a pile of books I must read. It's very tall. I have much less patience for the last book in a series. If an author screws up that last book, the final volume in a series...I hate the whole series. Ask me how many times I've read through the Harry Potter books (I lost count at 20). Now ask me how many times I've read them since the last book came out (not once). Why? Because, in my opinion, J.K. Rowling blew the ending (naturally, you may disagree with me, I expect it). This is coming from the girl who had her ENTIRE BEDROOM decorated in Harry Potter paraphernalia. I made my own wand. Really. I didn't just love those books. I LIVED those books. But now they sit undisturbed on my bookshelf, flanked by my Harry Potter bookends*.

I tell you all this in order to make it clear to you how high my standards are for series fiction, so you won't take it lightly when I tell you:

It was beautiful--wonderful! I can't express in words how fantastic it was! I could tell you why, but it would mean Spoilers, and we are a Spoiler-Free zone here on the blog.

Instead, I will tell you the following:

1. Collins wrote in just enough information for me to be content with Katniss' story. I didn't put the book down thinking that she'd left me with too little information or certain that life wouldn't have worked out so seamlessly for everyone after all they'd been through in the first two books.

2. I cried. A lot.

3. I wanted to strangle several main characters (because they weren't doing what I thought they should). I wanted to murder others (because they were so evil). Still more characters just needed a hug, after all they'd been through (including some of the ones I wanted to strangle).

4. At one point near the end, I may have screamed.

5. The scream may have taken place in the middle of the library.

6. I have caught myself singing several of the songs from the book, despite the fact that I don't know what the actual melodies should be. I made up my own.

7. I take comfort in the knowledge that I'm not the only person who has done this**.

Oh, and one other thing. I loved Mockingjay so much, I feel the urgent need to give a copy away.

That's right! I have a brand new, shiny, hardcover copy of Mockingjay to give to one of you. In order to get your chance to win it, you have to do one simple thing...

Well, one thing other than walk into the library. We'll assume you are already here.

Go to the circulation desk upstairs, get an entry form. Then you will answer my little trivia question, because I like to check and see that you're paying attention. Then you must fill out the rest of said entry form COMPLETELY before handing it to the person behind the desk. They will then put it in the Legendary Re-purposed Coffee Can, and you will be entered.

The not-so-fine print? Here it is:

You, personally, may only fill out and turn in one entry form. One. Not twelve. One. So when I open the top, I shouldn't see five entries from you. I should see one with your name on it. Just the one. That's 1. One. Uno. Unless you jump through some hoops for me. I'll explain in a moment. If you jump through the aforementioned hoops, I will see your name more than once, but it will be in MY handwriting.

Your entry must be filled out all the way. Completely. If you don't have a phone number, make sure we have an alternate means of contacting you to tell you that you've won. It's important. If I can't reach the winner, I'll get all whiny and depressed.

You must be in grades 7-12 to participate. If you aren't, you're out of luck. Sorry.

All that being said, there is something you can do to increase your odds that I will permit. Several somethings. In fact, I encourage you to do these somethings:

If you leave a comment on THIS post right HERE and say, "Gee, Laura, I really want that book!" I will write your name and e-mail down on an entry form and pop it into the can. Just be sure to enter your E-MAIL while filling out the comment form! Otherwise I will be unable to notify you that you've won.

If you visit Twitter and say something like "@wabashteens, I must have Mockingjay!" use the hashtag #MockingjayGiveaway, and I will write your name down on an entry form and pop it in the can too. If you win, I will @ reply to you via Twitter telling you how you can pick up your book. Be prepared for this to happen. Watch for a reply on Twitter.

If you visit our page on Facebook and leave a comment on the "Mockingjay Giveaway!" announcement, I will write your name down on an entry form and pop it in the can AGAIN.

So really, you actually have FOUR chances to win.

I will draw a winner on OCTOBER 11 at 5:00 P.M.. Be sure you've entered before that time!

I'll notify you the following day and tell you what you need to do to pick up your prize (which is to say, you'll need to walk in, tell the librarian your name, and the librarian will hand you the book. Easy, right?).

If you have not yet read any of the previous books of The Hunger Games trilogy, I strongly urge you to go read them now. There is a reason I loved them so much that I have not one, but two Hunger Games t-shirts.

For those of you who've already finished reading The Hunger Games trilogy, might I make a few suggestions? First, read Suzanne Collins' other books--like the Gregory the Overlander series. Then try The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, Maze Runner by James Dashner, Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, or How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff if you're looking for more books set in dystopian societies, or read Graceling by Kristin Cashore or any of Tamora Pierce's books if you're looking for a strong female protagonist. That list could go on forever. If you've read all those and still want more ideas, you can ask me on Twitter (@wabashteens), ask me here, or even ask me on Facebook on the Wabash Carnegie Public Library page. And you can certainly feel free to come visit me in person!

*Until December, when I read through all seven books in seven days. Watch for updates...

**Really. Look it up on YouTube if you don't believe me.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

SPEAK Loudly (and Banned Book Week)

On September 18, 2010 an opinion piece was printed in the Springfield, Missouri News-Leader. The post was by a man named Wesley Scroggins (a Dickensian name if I've ever heard one).

In it, Scroggins, an associate professor of marketing at Missouri State University*, criticises several books: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. He labels them "filthy" and advises the Republic school district get rid of them (never mind the fact that he homeschools his kids, so this has no effect on him**).

I could recount the entire sordid business for you, but instead I am going to send you on a little scavenger hunt, here to read what Scroggins wrote and to read Laurie Halse Anderson's response on her blog, "This Guy Thinks SPEAK Is Pornography" and Sarah Ockler's reaction, "On Book Banning, Zealots, and Ostriches". I'd give you a link for Kurt Vonnegut too, but he passed away in 2007. He can't speak up about this anymore, so the rest of us will for him.

The book world sprang to action. Indiana English teacher Paul Hankins started a Twitter feed #SpeakLoudly to protest Scroggins' desire to ban Speak, Twenty Boy Summer, and Slaughterhouse Five. Sarah Ockler held a contest challenging people to Speak Loudly in their community and online and tell her what they did in support of the Speak Loudly campaign for a chance to win a "Wesley Scroggins Filthy Books Prize Pack!" I love her sense of humor. Speak Loudly has since evolved into a larger movement. Hankins now has a Speak Loudly website dedicated to fighting book banning. Among other things, speakloudly.org has compiled as many anti-Speak-banning blog entries as possible and their collection is still growing. He's done an amazing job on this. Paul Hankins is now added to my list of Book Heroes.

I should have written this entry up last week, but I confess, I was in shock.

I mean, I get Slaughterhouse Five. Mostly because it's been banned before. Widely. It's about a war and it's pretty violent. But it was taught in three separate college courses I took AND I read it in high school, because that's how good it is. Sure, it's rough. It's a book about war. And poor Billy Pilgrim has a rough go of it. He's sent overseas, he fights in the Battle of the Bulge, he's separated from his unit, and he's taken prisoner by Germans. Who steal his shoes! So he's barefoot--in WINTER! From that point, Billy is moved to a P.O.W. camp in a former slaughterhouse in Dresden. Dresden is then bombed. Extensively. The city is reduced to a smoking crater, comparable to the surface of the moon. This actually happened during WWII, and Vonnegut was there. In fact, he was cut off from his unit and taken to the same POW camp Billy is sent to. Then he witnessed the bombing of Dresden. He called the experience, "utter destruction" and "carnage unfathomable." Vonnegut's novel reflects the brutality he experienced. It's hard to read, but it HAPPENED. Slaughterhouse Five is a classic. Students read it, study it, and walk away with a greater understanding of war. But it still gets banned a lot.

I don't even get the whole Twenty Boy Summer banning. Why? I don't even think Scroggins read the book. But then, I doubt he read any of them. It sounds more like he had someone point out all the scenes that they had problems with, and he just summarized them. But Twenty Boy Summer is about the loss of a loved one, not wild teenage party fun. There are books dedicated only to partying teenagers, but Twenty Boy Summer isn't one of them. Sarah Ockler explains:

I’m not going to spend a lot of time defending my book other than to say what those who’ve read it already know — despite its lighthearted title, TBS is not about parties and sex. It’s about two girls struggling in the aftermath of a major tragedy, with grieving parents and unfamiliar situations and secrets that threaten to kill their friendship. It’s a scary world for them, and my job as a writer is to tell their story honestly, without judgment. And I know I’ve done my job because I hear from teens who’ve experienced devastating loss, and they tell me how much the book meant to them or how they could relate to the characters more than they can relate to their own friends sometimes. One email like that is all I needed to know that I did what I set out to do.

And Speak?

Of all the YA novels I've read in my lifetime, I can think of not one other novel that has had a more positive impact than Speak. Rape isn't an easy thing to talk about. Some victims go years before ever sharing their experience with someone else or getting help. In the novel, Melinda begins her freshman year alone, shunned by her friends because she called the police while at a party over the summer. What her friends don't know is that Melinda made the call because she was raped. She begins the school year a selective mute, unable to admit what happened to her. By the end of the year, Melinda finds the strength to speak out against her attacker and opens up to her art teacher (I love her art teacher).

Speak is one of the most vitally important works of young adult literature out there. It opens a line of dialogue in the home, the classroom, between friends, and I've even heard of it being used therapeutically. Reading many of the blogs Speak fans have posted this week, I have been awestruck at how much good Speak has done. Now more than ever, it is clear that no library should be without it. Melinda didn't just get her own voice back; she gave others back their voices too.

Laurie Halse Anderson wrote a response to Scroggins' opinion piece. It's a must-read.

The fight to keep Speak in Republic Schools is making good progress, thanks to Speak Loudly and the hundreds of blogs individuals have contributed. You can read another News-Leader article, in which Scroggins tries to convince us he didn't call Speak pornography, despite the fact he did, both in his editorial (link up above) and in his original complaint to the school board. But we can't just stop caring about this issue now that things are looking up.

Books are banned all over our country constantly. Textbooks are rewritten to avoid hot topics (Maureen Johnson was just talking about textbook censoring yesterday). Authors are uninvited to speaking engagements (it's happened to Ellen Hopkins twice). Banned Book Week starts today. It's our yearly reminder that we can't just shrug our shoulders when someone tries to take a book away from us. Books are ideas; books are powerful. No one should ever be able to take away the freedom to read.

Have you seen my bookshelf? Good luck taking my books away. They go with me to the grave. Maybe if someone is really nice, I'll give them away in my will instead of insisting that they line my coffin so I can take them with me to the afterlife, ancient-Egypt-style.

To Wesley Scroggins, I give my favorite piece of U.S. war propaganda:

Even though I am a pacifist, I really like this poster.

This week I encourage you to celebrate Banned Book Week by reading Speak, Twenty Boy Summer, Slaughterhouse Five, or another banned book (I recommend Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian). You can find a title here, on the ALA's list of challenged and banned books from 2009-2010. Here is their list of banned classics.

You can also get involved in Speak Loudly by visiting the organizations website and by using the #SpeakLoudly tag on Twitter, writing about how Speak and other banned books have changed your life, and by talking to your teachers, parents, and friends.

I hope to see lots of banned books getting checked out next week!

*What does that job title say to me? It says, "Smart enough to be a college professor means smart enough to KNOW BETTER."

**This is according to every resource I've found, including the Springfield News-Leader and Sarah Ockler's website. If I discover otherwise or can clarify this further, I'll let you know.

Picture courtesy of Creative Commons, was a WWII propaganda poster released by the U.S. Department of War Information.

Note: This is my personal rant. As with all the other blogs I write here, I'm sharing my own opinions, not the library's official stance on any issue. Sorry I have to put this in here, but such is the world we live in.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Confession (and my review of Cassandra Clare's latest)

I may have accidentally, possibly, blacked out in the bookstore.

Really. There's no other explanation for how I ended up with Cassandra Clare's City of Ashes AND City of Glass on the passenger seat of my car when I haven't even finished City of Bones yet. I mean, I work in a library, I could just check them out, right? Apparently not.

I think it was book fumes. The smell of paper and ink? Book fumes.

Yeah. That was it. The fumes were too strong, and I succumbed to them. Book fumes convinced me that I needed to OWN the first three books of The Mortal Instruments, not just to read them.


The first book, City of Bones?

Yeah. I bought that too. But--it was on a different day! It isn't my fault!

Okay, well, it kind of is...but there's an explanation!

See, I read Clockwork Angel.

And it was really, really good. Seriously good. And it was more than just me liking the whole Victorian setting, much more. I could not put it down. It was fantastic, addictive, I couldn't get enough. And when I finished it, I was talking with some of my book-lover friends, and they were shocked to hear I hadn't read The Mortal Instruments books yet. Frankly, so was I. Because the second I put down Clockwork Angel, I thought, "Hey! maybe there are parallels between the two series! I need to know about them, don't I? Don't I?" And by the time I'd finished that sentence, I had City of Bones in my hands and was on my way out of Walmart. The truth is, I think I just needed more Cassandra Clare, not another episode of Laura's Fun with Literary Analysis.

I mean, Clockwork Angel is wonderful! I loved it. Really loved it. It's the kind of book I like to read instead of watching television, because I hate commercials so much, I stopped watching television. TV on DVD, all the way.


You want me to talk about Clockwork Angel? While avoiding spoilery?

Well, I think that can be arranged.

Lots of people urged me to read The Mortal Instruments, but I have a LLLOOOOONNNNGGGG list of books to read. It's really long. But Clockwork Angel is a new series, and it's actually set BEFORE The Mortal Instruments, so I thought I'd be okay starting with Clockwork Angel first.

It was more than okay. I never felt confused about anything Shadowhunter-y. So don't worry about reading Clockwork Angel first.

Naturally, I can't tell you if it's a better idea to read one series before starting the other, but I can say with great confidence that Clockwork Angel in no way spoils City of Bones (or the first 255 pages of City of Ashes I don't think I've put these books down since buying them). I doubt it spoils anything.

I might be a tad biased. I LOVE Victorian literature. I am also quite fond of contemporary works set in the Victorian era.

Clockwork Angel follows Tessa Gray, newly arrived in London. Tessa believes she is meeting her brother, but instead she meets up with the Dark Sisters, who claim Tessa's brother sent them to escort her to her new home.

Unfortunately for Tessa, the Dark Sisters kidnap her and force her to develop a supernatural talent Tessa never knew she possessed. Tessa attempts to escape, and in the process meets up with Shadowhunters Will and Jem (Jem! *swoons*), who bring her to London's Institute, where she will be safe while they work to determine why she was kidnapped, what the Dark Sisters were planning, and what force the sisters served.

All that is paraphrased from the publisher's blurb. No spoilers.

Now I will say my piece, avoiding spoilers.

One fault I often find with many contemporary books with historical settings is that characters often think or behave in a way contrary to what was socially acceptable during the time they lived. Cassandra Clare does not in any way, shape, or form fall into this trap. She gives us a simple and elegant explanation for her characters' "modern" behavior: The Shadowhunter world is set apart from the mundane world. So, Shadowhunter relationships are without the strict social separation between classes. Mercifully for Tessa, Shadowhunters are also more open to women (HOORAY!). Tessa is permitted far more freedom at the Institute than she could have had anywhere else. That little explanation makes the whole book tons of fun to read, even after all the classes I took in college that stressed the strict social order and the lack of women's rights through history. Believe it or not, it was this solution that made me love Clockwork Angel as much as I do.

Character analysis time.

Tessa is American, brought over to a new country and, sadly, left alone and friendless. I immediately liked her. Why? She loves to read! Moreover, Tessa is the kind of protagonist YA lit (and every other genre of literature) thrives on. She isn't the most beautiful girl in the room, she's nervous about taking on new challenges and meeting strange people, she misses her brother and her aunt, and she makes mistakes. That means readers like you and me have an easy time relating to Tessa. We can see ourselves being her friend, or even BEING Tessa, were we dropped in a foreign country and left to fend for ourselves in the 1800's. Tessa makes Clockwork Angel appealing from the moment you pick it up.

I often wanted to clout Will, because he ought to know better. Also because he shouldn't act the way he does with people who care about him. He's arrogant, overconfident, and narcissistic--on the surface. We can only guess what Will is really like. I think something Very Bad happened to Will, and he doesn't want to deal, so he stalks the streets of London with his weapons looking for a fight. I think he's trying to atone for...something. If he would just start being kind...But I can relax, because Cassandra Clare mentioned on Twitter that Will would be smacked about in the future, so I won't have to think about doing it myself all the time.

I adore Jem (And not just because he's well behaved around Tessa). He's compassionate and a true gentleman. In Tessa's day, that was a Big Deal. I think it's a Big Deal NOW. He opens up to Tessa about his storied past rather than KEEPING SECRETS (*cough* Will), and what he went through only makes me like him more. But Jem has problems of his own. I only hope he can solve them before--

I stopped myself, see?

There is also some question (in my view) as to whether Jem told us--Tessa, that is--the whole truth. But that might just be my own paranoia...

Cassandra Clare can be very proud of Clockwork Angel. She's totally won me over. I am hooked. And with the sheer volume of books she has coming out in the next two years alone, we won't be left waiting for long.

If you want to ask question or chat about the book with Cassandra Clare (and who wouldn't? I have!) go to Goodreads and join in the discussion

Monday, September 13, 2010

Seven Evil Ex-Boyfriends, Killer / Hero Robots, Zombies, and Mirror's Edge

We have new graphic novels!

Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, in which Scott Pilgrim (23 years old, Rating: Awesome) meets up with his dream girl: Ramona V. Flowers (Age Unknown, Status: Scott Is an Idiot), while he is, unfortunately, dating a girl named Knives (Knives Chau, 17 years old, Status: Totally Crazy) which isn't that big of a deal when you consider that Ramona has Seven EVIL Ex-Boyfriends that Scott must face, one by one, before he can really date Ramona. Oh, and there's punk rock and some fighting (the girl's name is KNIVES, remember?). Here's the official website.

Scott Pilgrim's various adventures became a film, and you can make your own Scott-Pilgrim-style-you here.

(The avatar maker thing loads faster if you don't keep punching the heart. Oh, and here is mine.)

I also snatched up the next six volumes of Pluto Urasawa X Tezuka because it's just that good.

We now have volumes 1-7, and we're waiting for 8.

I love this series.

Basically, it's a retelling of Astro Boy, but if you're like me, you had no idea what Astro Boy was until you did some research.

A Ridiculously Simplified Synopsis of Astro Boy:

After the tragic death of his young son Tobio, Doctor Tenma creates an immensely powerful robot replica of Tobio to take Tobio's place. Tenma treated Astro (the robot copy) just like his son, but when he realized Astro could never take Tobio's place (it had to do with cubes over flowers), he gave Astro to an EVIL CIRCUS GUY named Hamegg, who was very evil. Luckily for Astro, the new head of government security, Professor Ochanomizu, sees him perform and persuades Hamegg to give Astro up. Ochanomizu treats Astro well, and they discover Astro has super-powers that he uses to save the world from robot-hating humans, human-hating robots, robot-hating-robots, human-hating-humans, and space invaders.

In Pluto, humans and robots live together in peace. But the seven most powerful robots in the world are being destroyed serial-killer style. Through the series, we are introduced to each robot while the murder investigation is underway. Pluto is a lot like the old film noir mysteries. It is also VERY GOOD. You should, therefore, go read it.

The Unwritten 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Wilson Taylor has written a series of fantasy novels about Tommy Taylor. The books are hugely popular--Harry Potter popular. When Wilson goes missing, his fans hope he'll reappear someday with one more book...

Meanwhile, the real Tom Taylor, the son Wilson abandoned, has lived his life half-worshiped, as if he were really the character his father wrote, living and breathing. Tom's life is becoming hauntingly similar to Tommy's as "he's drawn into a strange literary underworld where the power of storytelling is as strong as any spell" (from the publisher's blurb. I really liked it).

Not Simple by Natsume Ono

Ian was separated from his sister as a child. But as he grows older, he decides to leave Australia to take an international quest to find her. He travels to England and later America, where he meets Jim, a reporter writing a book about Ian's life: Not Simple. Ian's story is told backwards through Jim's narrative, resulting in a story within a story, a book inside the book. This is the kind of thing people like me write papers on.

And, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and... *shudders* Seth Grahame-Smith

I'm not even going to say anything about this. Just...read Jane Austen's novel too, okay? I mean, I'm a lit major, this is like taking a razor blade to the Mona Lisa. Really. But, you go ahead...have fun... *backs away from graphic novel*

I am a girl, as you know. What you might not know is that I am also a Gamer. Have you played Mirror's Edge? Play it. It will make you want to leap off buildings in real life, but resist that. Instead, read this:

I think there is nothing cooler than free running. I wish I could do it! But I all I manage is falling down and hurting myself with great frequency.

And, last but not least: We have tons of new Bleach upstairs too.

New Books, OR, How Sarah Rees Brennan Made My Day

First we must talk about Sarah Rees Brennan (author of such YA titles as: The Demon's Lexicon, The Demon's Covenant, and The Eternal Kiss) and how she MADE MY DAY!

I didn't sleep very well last night. I actually didn't sleep at all. Well, maybe I slept an hour. But that was it! So I am groggy. Not awake at all. In fact, I bet I am not even very nice right now, and people are avoiding me. But I could be wrong.

The important thing is that I'm not in a sour mood anymore. And it is because Sarah Rees Brennan MADE MY DAY.

Do any of you watch The Vampire Diaries? I started watching them last week, since the first season came out on DVD so I could rent it. Somehow, that show works. I don't know why. It just does. I have found myself captivated by it.

As it turns out, I am not alone. Sarah Rees Brennan (who must be referred to with all three of her names at every moment because together, they sound so epic) watches the show too, and she has provided us with her commentary.

Without further ado, go read.

You should probably just read her blog every day now, because I told you to.

Now that I am in a happy mood, have some new books:

Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill

One girl, one boy. Their eyes meet from across the car wash. It was love at first sight--except the girl's grandfather sold his soul to the devil for a classic Caddy and used HER soul as collateral. Now the devil's come around to collect, and he's taking the car AND her soul. Luckily Bug Smoot is fearless and ready for a fight. And Luckily that boy from the car wash is a secret agent dedicated to facing down the paranormal.

Eon by Alison Goodman

Fans of Tamora Pierce and Kristin Cashore will love Eon. He's spent his whole life training to become a Dragoneye. Except Eon is really Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl, not the twelve-year-old boy she's been pretending to be. If her secret is discovered, she'll be executed. Women are forbidden to use Dragon Magic. And then everything falls apart.

Also, I should mention that it IS possible to stand the way Eona is posed on the cover. Although you can't get out of that position without professional help. Otherwise it hurts. I would know. What? Yoga made me do it.

Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits by Robid McKinley and Peter Dickinson (two fantasy greats you should absolutely know)

McKinley and Dickinson have written five short stories about creatures whose lives and deaths are centered around fire. With the two of them behind it, this book is bound to be a masterpiece of storytelling.

Wow. That pun was completely unintentional. Sorry.

Moving on.

The Indigo Notebook by Laura Resau, author of Red Glass

Zeeta and her English-teacher mother, Layla, move from country to country yearly. Layla thrives on change, but Zeeta isn't so happy with their arrangement.

Finding herself in the Ecuadoran Andes, Zeeta meets up with an American teen, Wendell, who has come to Ecuador searching for his birth parents. Zeeta agrees to help him in his search for the truth.

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz

This novel begins with a near-death experience for poor Camelia, whose day couldn't have been worse. She hopes. After meeting up with mysterious Ben, the new boy in school who may or may not have been the cause of his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Camelia's ordinary life becomes anything but--complete with mysterious telephone calls, packages, and thinly veiled threats. Now Camelia is wondering if she can really trust Ben, or if their secrets will keep them apart.

Jealousy by Lili St. Crow, the third Strange Angels novel

Poor Dru has finally made it to Schola Prima, home of the Order and training center for the djamphir, but the safety she was looking for is still out of reach. While Graves and Christophe struggle to...not...kill each other, Dru is still coping with the four-hundred-year-old psychotic nosferat Sergej, who wants her dead. Meanwhile, the Order is captivated by newcomer Anna, who wouldn't mind taking on Dru herself, so Anna can have what she really wants: Christophe.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's Never too Early

I know the school year has only just begun, and all of you are doubtless concerned with all sorts of school-related things. But I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't throw little tidbits of information your way when I find them. So here is one of them...

The Wabash County College Fair is being held at Manchester College on September 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. It's totally free, and students can meet with representatives from 37 different schools. Just drop by the College Union that night, and you can pick up brochures, ask questions, learn about academic requirements, and so forth.

If you want more information about this event, go read more about it here.