Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Read the Hype

This week's topic is top buzzed books that I haven't read. I'm adding the YET to mine because I mean to read these books, but I just haven't done it...yet. With a list of over 2000 books that I'm looking forward to reading, I have quite a few...

Eleanor and ParkFangirlCode Name Verity (Code Name Verity, #1)The Warrior Heir (The Heir Chronicles, #1)Beauty Queens
Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick (Perry & Gobi, #1)Scarlet (Scarlet, #1)The ListDefiance (Defiance #1)

Tween Tuesday Review: Public School Superhero

Kenny wants to save the world, but it only happens on paper. In real life, he's being bullied at school. When he tries to act tougher, that's when the trouble starts.

He starts lying to his Grandmother, getting in trouble at school, and worrying about what's going to happen next.

Is he in way over his head, or can he come up with a plan to smooth everything over?
My Thoughts: I enjoyed this novel with some graphic novel panels interspersed. I liked that Kenny lived with his grandmother and she instilled good manners in him. She has a great big heart and old fashioned believes, which makes her perfect. I like how she wanted the best for Kenny.

I like how Kenny and his friend were interested in Chess.

I like how the neighborhood wasn't the best and that the book touched on bullies, drugs, and fostering kids. Everyone should have the best chance that they can have - and Kenny's grandmother helps him fight for a chance. I like how the parents stood up for the school principal, how they required their school to be better, and how they didn't take no for an answer. I like how they inspired Kenny to do the right thing, the hard thing, in front of everyone. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: Sent for Review

Final Thoughts: A novel about being the best version of yourself and standing tall, even if others around you aren't doing their part. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Review: An Ember in the Ashes

Soldiers come into Laia's home, looking for her brother. He has a book of drawings that he's determined to keep hidden. When he tells Laia to run, she does, knowing that she's leaving him behind. Her grandparents died and her brother's taken into custody.

Ashamed of her inability to act that night she offers up her services in exchange for her brother's freedom. She goes undercover in the Commandant's household.

It's the most dangerous thing Laia has ever done and it could be the death of her if she doesn't play her cards right. She runs into Elias, who's going through a series of tests to crown the next leader.

No one knows that Elias has been questioning his loyalty lately. He isn't ready to give up everything, but he's getting closer.

Their paths cross and they can either help each other or their friendship could be the end of both of them.
My Thoughts: I really really enjoyed this book and I'm so happy there's a sequel in the works. 

Ok, yes, the book was violent - with several references to women/girls being raped, the commander has a history of violence, and there's that whole battle scene that's just heartbreaking. And it's not gratuitous - its in their world. 

I loved the strong women - women who risked everything for a cause, women who ruled their world, and women who defied the odds to make themselves stand out. 

I loved the lies, the secrets, and the relationships between everyone. It made the book all the more intriguing. 

I liked learning about the Scholars and the rebels. I liked learning about the soldiers and their life. 

I liked the choices the characters had to chose between duty, family, loyalty, and their own interests. 

All in all, I devoured this book and I've been thinking about it ever since.

Cover Thoughts: Pretty Good
Source: My Library

Final Thoughts: Wonderful fantasy debut that will rock your world. Grab it now!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Soccer Books

Do you have World Cup fever?
 Check out the video for some YA book suggestions for soccer fans.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Mysterious Saturday Review: Fatal Reservations

* Book 6 in the Key West Food Critic series *

Trouble's brewing in Key West between the police and the community. Things aren't so happy between the street artists either. There have been a string of burglaries and when a performer is murdered, Hayley's friend Lorenzo becomes the prime suspect.

Hayley can't believe her friend's capable of murder. But when he runs, she has to admit it looks suspicious. Hayley can't help asking a few questions on behalf of her friend.

With work and relationship both on rocky terms, she could use a distraction. But the more she digs, the more she wonders if she could be wrong about her friend.
My Thoughts: Another great addition to this charming series. I loved learning more about Key West from the politics to the street performers and the hoops the restaurateurs have to jump through. I loved learning more from Miss Gloria's new gig at the cemetery. Lorenzo's been a key characters in these books, I liked learning more about his back story too. As usual, I love the moments where Hayley eats for her reviews or cooks up something delicious. Her troubles at work are better, but a new set of concerns has popped up. I learning about her writing process for her reviews, and how they're changing with new management. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: Sent for Review

Final Thoughts: Reserve your time to read this series, it's delightful. Fatal Reservations digs into the community to create an entertaining book full of characters that jump off the page and mouth-watering food. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Review: Rook

Sophia saves peoples from the the guillotine, leaving behind a red tip feather. This latest heist, sends up red flags.

Sophia's engage to marry in order to save her family. Her father's run the house into the ground and her brother won't be able to inherit without a large flow of cash. She doesn't even know the man, but she's willing to sacrifice her future happiness for brother.

But the powers that be are suspicious of her family and of her brother in particular. As the danger grows closer, Sophia isn't sure who to trust anymore. Everyone wants something from her. can she survive the game without losing the people that matter most to her?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book - a dystopian re-imagined Scarlet Pimpernel. I loved Sophia's determination and her daring ideas. I love that she defied standards to help people escape death. I loved how the relationship between herself and Rene developed as they began to get to know each other and understand each other. They both had something to lose, which made them the perfect pair. I loved watching the romance between them grow. The danger and the action of this book kept me on the edge of my seat. 

Cover Thoughts: Perfect - I love the broken city of Paris.
Source: My Library

Final Thoughts: A book that kept me at the edge of my seat while I sorted through the double-crossings and masks the characters wore to hide their true self. A broken world with bold characters and a strong romance. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Series Love: Princess Diaries

Welcome to a new blog meme here at YA Book Nerd. I realized that I read SO many series books that I should talk about them as a whole. Not to say that every series I'm going to talk about I've finished - but my thoughts my help you pick up and start a new series.

Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

Everyone knows I love these books. Before I read Royal Wedding, I did something out of character for me. I re-read the entire series. I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time around - it was funny, charming, smart, refreshing, honest, and it tugged at my heart strings. 

Here are the things that stood out for me:

Pop culture references: Star Wars and more
Nerd behavior
Being smart and weird is great
 love for romance books
Diverse cast of characters 
Realistic friendships: fights between friends, how they know you better than anyone, and how they challenge you to become a better person
book references (Ransom My Heart)
written has journals: mix of notes, homework, and Mia's innermost thoughts
Her parents
Grandmere's schemes
Fun lists in the book (sometimes by Mia and Lilly, sometimes just Mia)
Mia's big heart

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Real Talk (1)

Do you read Teen Services Underground?
If not, it's a great blog.

A month ago Andrea Sowers wrote up this post:

It's a great piece. 

And Canva did the same for me.

If you read my blog regularly, you know I'm no longer working in a library. 
If I was, I"d be using Canva professionally as well. 
But for now, I'm just happy making up graphics for my blog. 

I hope that they will tie things together, especially those posts I envision as a series. 

Over the past few months, I've create about 20 different graphics. Some have taken me an hour or so and some have take five minutes. It's all about when the creativeness strikes and what I'm in the mood for. 

Now I'm not saying my creations are perfect, but they really do make me happy. 

I like graphic design work. I'd like to do more of it.
Any libraries/authors need something done, I'm happy to try and help.

So my question is - do you like creating graphics?

They make me feel accomplished and creative, two of my favorite things.

Percy Pack: First Look at The Demigods of Olympus


Title: The Demigods of Olympus: An Interactive Adventure
Price: $8.99 / $7.99 
On-Sale: July 14, 2015 
Description: Your quest begins! Use your demigod skills in this interactive and customizable adventure story written by New York Times #1 best-selling author Rick Riordan. Combining four short stories, The Two-Headed Guidance Counselor, The Library of Deadly Weapons, My Demon Satyr Tea Party, and My Personal Zombie Apocalypse, your choices will have consequences in this first interactive demigod adventure. 

The first look at Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard was revealed last week on USA Today.

Title: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
On-Sale: October 6, 2015 
Description: Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants, and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarök, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years. When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision. Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die.


Title: Greek Heroes
On-Sale: August 18, 2015 

Description: Who cut off Medusa's head? Who was raised by a she-bear? Who tamed Pegasus? It takes a demigod to know, and Percy Jackson can fill you in on the all the daring deeds of Perseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon, and the rest of the major Greek heroes. Told in the funny, irreverent style readers have come to expect from Percy, ( I've had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I'm going to tell you about were the original old school hard luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. . .) and enhanced with vibrant artwork by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco, this story collection will become the new must-have classic for Rick Riordan's legions of devoted fans--and for anyone who needs a hero. So get your flaming spear. Put on your lion skin cape. Polish your shield and make sure you've got arrows in your quiver. We're going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld, and steal loot from evil people. Then, for dessert, we'll die painful tragic deaths. Ready? Sweet. Let's do this.