Thursday, April 28, 2011

2011 Debut Author Challenge 7: Entwined by Heather Dixon

I was not aware of the 12 Dancing Princesses Fairy Tale until I saw it one day at the bookstore where I work and picked it up and read it really quick. It was a good story. So when I read the premise for this book Entwined by Heather Dixon I was eager to see how the fairy tale could be adapted into a teen book. Let me say that I think they did a great job. I got sucked in and could barely put it down. This is also one of my books for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge.

The original story was published by the Grimm Brothers. The basic story is that there are 12 princesses, sisters, locked in a room each night. But each morning their slippers are worn out as if they have been dancing all night. The king can't figure it out, so he promises his kingdom and one of the princesses to the man who can solve the mystery. The one who solves it is given an invisibility cloak and warned not to eat or drink anything from the princesses, and to pretend to be asleep when they go to bed. He does all this, then follows them using the invisibility cloak and discovers where they sneak off to and tells the king. This is one version of the story, but all are very similar.

In Entwined the reason the princesses are "locked in" is because they are in mourning. At the beginning of the book we meet their mother who is sick because of her pregnancy with her 12th child. She dies when she has the child and the king is so upset he leaves to go fight in a war. Leaving the girls at home to be in mourning. Mourning means no dancing, wearing black, no going outside, the windows are covered, basically being locked in the house. Now, in the past the castle was changed by magic, and there are still some things left. The princesses also learn about secret passages and find their way down to a secret ballroom to where someone named Keeper controls the dancing and ballroom. Each of the princesses in this story have a name for a plant of some sort, in alphabetical order, beginning with Azalea, the oldest, to the newborn Lily. There are of course several suitors in the story. When the king comes back from war he sees that the girls' slippers are worn out from their going to dance each night, and so he sends out a message to get someone to help figure out the mystery. When these gentlemen are at the palace, the girls are allowed to go outside and it is almost like not being in mourning.

I loved the emotional side brought to the story, and how the father is trying to win back the love of his daughters that he has somewhat been away from due to Royal Business, or R.B. as they call it in the book. This was a really good fairy tale. After all the dystopian novels I've been reading lately with often depressing endings, it is nice once in awhile to get lost in a happy ending again. I will definitely recommend this!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Hazards of Working at a Bookstore Vol. 2.2

This will be a combination of Saturday night and last night, as I am way behind on blogging. Which means there are four books to talk about, so here goes.

First, I have always been intrigued by the Titanic disaster (as I know many other people are). And imagine my surprise and excitement to see another young readers novel, by a bestselling author about this event. Titanic is going to be a 3 part series by Gordon Korman, similar to his Island and Kidnapped series I assume, neither of which I've read though. Here is the info on the first in the series: We have Paddy, a stowaway, Sophie and her mother who have been arrested, Juliana and her rich, eccentric father, and Alfie who has a secret that could get him kicked off the ship. It will be interesting to read the stories that Korman weaves here and learn who will survive, if any.

Second: Family by Micol Ostow. I have to admit the cover is what drew me in, and look at it here, doesn't it make you want to pick it up and read it, or at least see what it is about? It is loosely based on teh Manson family murders in 1969. It is about a teenager who is on the run and finds a boy named Henry who invites her to live with his family. At first it seems great, they share food, chores, everything. Everything includes their bodies and beliefs. And Melinda must agree to it all to belong.

Third is The Sallie House Haunting by Debra Pickman. Ever since this haunting was brought to my attention from my first Ghost Hunters University with Chris Moon at the Mason House Inn in Bentonsport, Iowa, I have wanted to learn more. Especially since it is so close by, in Atchison, Kansas. This is a place that has had a multitude of different types of hauntings, full body apparitions, items moving, sounds, and even physical harm has come to people in the house. The famous scratching of the people who lived there or investigators. From what I know not just anyone can go to this house, it is kept locked and only certain people are allowed to go in with permission from the people who own it and investigate it. I am interested to read this book from the people who have done the most of the research.

Fourth and final is The Uninvited by Steven LaChance. This is another true ghost/haunting story. As you can tell I spend some time in the New Age section of the bookstore Saturday night. It is right by the 2nd floor customer service desk. Anyway, this is a home in Union, Missouri. So, another place I might want to visit. But supposedly there are horrific sounds there, people have been possessed, really scary stuff. I've never heard of this before, so I'm very interested to read the story. I guess the author is someone who lived in this house and was driven out by all the stuff going on. Sounds like a spooky read!

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

I'm not going to do a big long blog on this one. As it is number what in the series? Not sure. But I will say that I did really enjoy it. It took only a few pages to get sucked right back into the world of Sookie Stackhouse and company. And yes, I love the show True Blood, it is what finally got me to read the book, but as always, the books are better. It was so nice when I started reading them and there were like 10 out, I got to just read right through them and stay in that world for so long. I'm now waiting every year for a new one. I will wait till next year to read the one that comes out in May because I am going to buy them all in paperback since that is how I started.

Just a quick synopsis of the story: We join Sookie right after the Fae War has ended. Her grandfather and most all of the Fairies have gone back into their world. Eric's maker shows up with Eric's younger brother. There are issues between Eric and the new vampire king, as well as issues within the Were community. And now that the Weres have come out, they are not quite receiving the same welcome as the vampires did.

Good quick read. I've also decided that another possible name whenever I may get another puppy is Sookie. :-)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

The 4th book in the Mortal Instruments series is the first book I've bought on my own Nook that I didn't already own. (Twilight of course had to be the first, and soon I'll own the whole Twilight series on my Nook so that I can read it whenever and wherever I am without having to carry the huge books around.)

Normally I don't like when books change character viewpoints back and forth. But this book did it very well, and perfectly for the story. Although there were some times that I was like, NO! Go back to Clary and Jace! And on my Nook, it doesn't give you the separation of extra space or anything like a normal book would, but that's okay. I figured it out.

In this book, they are back from Idris, the different supernatural groups all have their representatives on the council. Clary is now finally getting to train to be a Shadowhunter, although at her age she is way behind where she should be from all the missed years of training. There have been several Shadowhunters turning up dead. In different areas to throw suspicion on Werewolves, Fairies, and Vampires. Clary's friend Simon is having trouble at home, his mother is beginning to suspect something is up, and she finally does and he has to make her forget, and so he leaves, becoming homeless until the new band member Kyle invites him to stay with him. Simon is also juggling both Isabella and Maia. Jace is acting strange. One moment he is so loving and there for Clary, the next moment he's pulling away and saying it would be better if they were apart. Jace keeps having dreams of killing Clary. Turns out Clary's actions at the end of the last book have some unforeseen consequences. A great book, left hanging at the end again, and now have to wait for the next one to come out!

Although, I guess I could go ahead and read Clockwork Angel to keep me in the world while I wait.

The Hazards of Working at a Bookstore Vol. 2.1

I didn't work at the store at all last week, so didn't have time to do one of these, not to mention didn't look at any books either. Both of the books I have to share today are kid's books. I actually got to spend a little time in the kid's department last night, even though I was as usual in charge of the whole 2nd floor.

First is The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone. In the Children's Gallery of the Chicago Art Institute there are the Thorne rooms, 68 miniature rooms, each of which is designed in the style of a different historical period. This book imagines what if you had a key that made you shrink so that you could go inside each room? And as you went through them, what if you discovered other people had also visited and maybe left something behind? This sounds like a really fun read to me.

Second is Suddenly in the Depths of the Forest by Amos Oz. In a village, all the animals disappeared long ago. Only one old man, and a young teacher will talk about animals with the children, it is like no one wants to talk about it. There is one little boy who really gets into the animal stories, then disappears. Two girls, Maya and Matti decide to explore the woods around the village. There are dangers, something called Nehi, who is mountain demon. They find the boy in a cave, but also find a place where there are lots of animals. But is also the home of Nehi. Turns out Nehi used to be a boy in this town who was mocked and treated horribly. He has stolen all the animals. They must try to find out how to get them back.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

2011 Debut Author Challenge 6: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Before I get started on my review, let me first say that at the 2nd session I attended at the MASL conference today I got reinspired to try to do book reviews for teacher and library magazines. Wish me luck, and don't let me just forget and not bother with it! I do know that the review will have to be much more tight and much better writing than I do here on my blog. I know I should probably take more time with my entries here, but so far I just kind of like posting as I think. Feels more authentic and personal. Also, very excited to meet both Jay Asher, author of 13 Reasons Why, and Heather Brewer, author of the Vladimir Tod series, tomorrow. And while it's always cool when Heather Brewer replies to my Tweets, or even my Facebook posts, it was cool that she seems to be looking forward to meeting one of her minions as well! Plus, Jay Asher replied to me today too! So exciting! I love technology. Although, with such cool authors as these, it makes it harder to understand the authors I tweet that don't even bother to ever reply, even when I link to my reviews. Oh well. It is what it is. It's obvious who the really COOL authors are.

And, on with the review. Blood Red Road is another ARC. I waited a bit to get to it, while it sounded good, when I first picked it up, I had some trouble getting into it. But once I did, well, let's just say it was a day or two of not wanting to do anything other than read. I even wished I didn't have to go to family birthday parties so I could stay home and read, and there was cake at the party!!! And cake is my weakness. But back to topic.

Our main character is named Saba. She lives with her twin brother, her younger sister, and her father in a place called Silverlake, that is actually a dried up lake now. This is set in a future world, when things have gone wrong, from the few bits and pieces we get, I'm assuming some kind of disease or plague or pollution of some sort. At the very beginning, her brother Lugh is kidnapped, her father killed, and she is left alone with her sister Emmi, who she doesn't much like. Saba sets off to find Lugh, and along the way they get caught and taken to Hopetown where Saba is made to fight in cages. Kind of a gladiator type thing. Made me think of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome for some reason. Saba does really good, winning all her fights. She meets a boy there, Jack, and a girl named Epona, who is part of a group of girls out to win freedom for all. They are able to escape and burn down Hopetown. Saba finds out from another girl that her brother has been taken for a sacrifice. The king wants someone to sacrifice every year to extend his life. This king is obviously crazy and we find out just how much.

This was a really good book. I can see it being a very popular book for teens. My only complaints, and they are minimal, first, I understand why they use a slang type of speech, it fits the type of life the main characters have had, but it is still hard for me to read that as I'm so used to correcting grammar in papers I have to grade. The one other thing I didn't like is that they didn't use quotation marks when someone was talking, so sometimes I'd have to go back to re-read what I hadn't realized was someone talking to help my mind make sense of it. Nothing about the story was bad, just some things that my brain had a little trouble processing. But as I said, it didn't stop my brain from wanting to pick up the book and read constantly! I liked the way the relationship between Jack and Saba developed, its highs and lows were very good, and relatable I think.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Plague by Michael Grant

This is the fourth book in the Gone series by Michael Grant, which I was introduced to last year when I was a reader selector for the Truman books. This is a really great series, and this last book I think was one of the best ones. The town is still kind of trying to keep going. You've got the "bad" guy Caine, out on the island that was once owned by a Hollywood couple that I guess were modeled on Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. He's living there with Dianna, who decides that she wants to just stay there and try to live as normal a life as possible. They have electricity, a little, they have food, and no one else to eat it all. Sam is leader, but not really. Albert has kind of taken over, he is running all the business and so people now look to him to take care of them. Well, he is finding that they are probably going to run out of fresh water soon, so he sends Sam and Dekka and Jack out to find the water at a lake. While there they find another mutant named Toto who has been alone at the military base all this time. Toto's power is telling if someone is telling the truth or think they are telling the truth at least. This comes in handy when Albert decides to bring Caine back to save them from these horrible bug creatures now out to attack them. The title refers to everyone having flu, but this time is is really bad, some kids cough so hard they cough their insides out. And these bug creatures are hatching out of kids and seem to be indestructible.

You've got all your same old characters, with some kind of new ones. I loved the way you got some hope when they found the lake with the military base and some food, but then Caine and Drake come back, and hope goes away.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

300 Follower Giveaway!

Not for me silly. But I found this on one of the blogs I follow and she has some GREAT books to give away, so I'm trying to get all the entries I can. One way to get some entries is to blog about the contest. So, it is sponsored by Lilly Bear at Book Lungs. If you are not a follower of hers already, go on and check her out. New followers can enter as well!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Top 10 Tuesday: Books You Want Made Into Movies

I know, I know, it's Wednesday. But when I was scrolling through my blog reading list this morning, I saw this meme on other's and thought it was such a neat topic that I'd join in this week and now have something to do on Tuesdays as well. This is sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish, and I look forward to participating in this because I enjoy lists as well. Now I thought this would be fun, so let's see if I can come up with 10 books!

1. In the Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. I love this series, and since zombie movies really seem to need a good storyline anymore, I think this would be a great one to start with. And then the two sequels could make for a series of movies.

2. The Gone series by Michael Grant. I love this story about a bunch of kids left alone when all the adults, or people over a certain age just disappear. There are some great monsters and scary parts that could really draw in people.

3. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Yes, I know they already made a movie. But I'd like them to re-do it, making it more true to the book so that they can go on and make the rest of the books into movies as well.

4. Another series I'd love to see re-done that they messed up on the very first book is Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews. That movie was so bad, they even had the mother killed at the end of the movie, thereby screwing up any chance of making the rest of the books into movies.

5. I also think the Suite Scarlett series by Maureen Johnson could make for a very humorous movie. Especially if they let the author help out around the set and with the script writing!

6. Delirium by Lauren Oliver. In my love of dystopian books lately, I think this would be a great movie. There are so many scenes that would be so dramatic in a theater.

7. Another dystopian book I've really enjoyed lately is Wither by Lauren DeStefano. I can see as this is supposed to be a series, it might even make for a good tv series.

8. I do think the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer would make for a great movie, or again I could see them as a tv series. On the WB or UPN. :-)

9. I think that after Julie and Julia was such a hit, and Eat, Pray, Love too, that another memoir that would be fun would be The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure. It would be so fun to see her travel to all the different Little House on the Prairie locations and the story was so entertaining it wouldn't even have to be a documentary, it could be done as a fun movie like the two I mentioned at the beginning of this.

10. Finally, wow, there are so many that I love, trying to find one more that I think would make a good movie. I think the book Deadly by Julie Chibbaro would be an intersting historical fiction movie about Typhoid Mary. I would go see it.

Wow, I did it!

Waiting On Wednesday - The Death Cure by James Dashner

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine where bloggers spotlight the upcoming releases they're eagerly anticipating.

I've had this book planned to use on a Wednesday since last week, but was too busy to get it done. So here goes.

I've really enjoyed the Maze Runner series by James Dashner, both the first and the second titled The Scorch Trials. I was extremely excited when I found a date for the third and final in the series, called The Death Cure, supposed release date October 11th, 2011.

In this, Thomas has been captured or taken in by Wicked. He knows not to trust them, but the games are supposed to be over. Supposedly they can cure the Flare using one more test from the Gladers. Thomas has remembered more about before all of this, and so wonders if all this is going to really be a cure. It is called the death cure because the Flare kills eventually, but is the cure itself more dangerous than the disease?

I, for one, look forward to seeing where this is going. The 2nd book was good, but lots of things that were very confusing. I'm ready for some answers. Unfortunately I cannot find a picture of the cover to share yet, so no picture for now.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

2011 Debut Author Challenge 5: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Another ARC. And I kept hearing great things online about it, how picking it up and not being able to put it down. I have to admit, I'm not a fan of the coverwork, it doesn't really draw me in. It's cool looking, don't get me wrong, just wouldn't have grabbed me or made me think what it was about.

Well, the things I read going on and on about how great this book was? They weren't exaggerating. When I picked it up, I could barely put it down. I finished it in 2 days, while teaching and having to work at the bookstore one of those nights. As I read it, I thought in my head that this reminded me of the Hunger Games. Anyway, it's great, awesome, I even recommended it to one of my students as I was reading it, and it's not even published till May! So, let's get on with the summary of the story.

In this future society, the people decided that if people only chose one way/society of approved areas to be a part of, that would keep there from being war. Abegnation is the one our main character Beatrice is from. Now, I've never heard the word abegnation, so wasn't sure exactly what this group did until they explained. The other factions were easy to understand, Candor - honest, Dauntless - bravery, Erudite - knowledge, and Amity - happiness. Anyways, Beatrice is the age where she must choose which faction to spend the rest of her life in. There is a mental simulation game that determines which area they would be best in, but they can choose whatever they want. Beatrice gets unexpected results, she is something called a Divergent, but must keep it a secret, in fact, the test examiner changes the results to hide this. Beatrice doesn't choose her own faction, even though it means leaving her family, because the motto is Faction before family. She goes to Dauntless. Her brother Caleb also stuns her by choosing Erudite instead of Abegnation. So we follow Beatrice, who becomes Tris, into Dauntless. This is an extreme life. Jumping on and off trains to travel places. Jumpingn off buildings, fighting other new members to determine just who will actually get to join and who will be sent away to live factionless.

A great dystopian story. Not sure if it left off in a way that could be a sequel, but I'd go back to this world to see how things work out. Can't wait to make it a staff rec at the bookstore I work at!

The Hazards of Working at a Bookstore Vol. 2.0

Only worked one night this week due to both my own plans, as well as I'm sure the cutting of hours at the bookstore. So I only have two books to share.

First is Staying at Daisy's by Jill Mansell. I have never read any of this author's books, they just haven't really seemed to catch my attention when I picked them up and read their summary. This one did sound kind of cute though. As the title suggests, Daisy is the manager of a hotel. She's single, because her husband died in a car accident (I think most of the author's books have married/divorced women as the main character, which I have trouble relating to). A handsome, former rugby star is there for a wedding, and while Daisy doesn't trust him, she doesn't trust handsome men, sparks seem to fly in their growing attraction. It sounds like a funny chick lit book, the kind I haven't found many of lately, but are the ones that got me started in the first place. Of course, it could be the dachshund looking dog on the cover that drew me to the book in the first place. :-)

Second is The Confession of Katherine Howard by Suzannah Dunn. Another historical fiction book set in the reign of Henry VIII. So of course I was intrigued. This is about his 5th wife. The Tudors really intrigued me to want to know more about her, and this book seems to fill that need. Again, not much more to talk about, we all know the main story, and now I want to read it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure

First thing I want to say is, although you probably won't notice this from the finished blog, because I have an injured hand, this may take me awhile to type up. However, I finished this book this morning and really want to share my thoughts on it, so I'm going to get it done. Please forgive any typos that I don't catch as I type with my wrapped up hand. Here goes.

I read an advanced readers copy for this. One I was very excited when I got it in the mail. I, too, am a fan of the Little House on the Prairie, however, unlike the author, my fascination comes from the tv show. I didn't start watching this till probably late middle school/early high school. I just remember watching it with my brother during the summer, so of course it was mostly reruns at that time. We loved the show, but really loved the campy way Michael Landon played Charles Ingall. As much as you hated Nellie Oleson, I loved when her character was on. So, by the time I really learned about the books, I was at an age where I was reading much more adult books, and when I tried to pick up the books, I felt like I was trying to read an elementary school level book. Hey, give me a break, I was reading VC Andrews books, as well as Stephen King books that I'd borrowed from my mom at this time. And of course, Sweet Valley High, as well as Amanda Quick books that I had borrowed from my stepmother. I wish I'd learned about the books at an earlier age, so that I too could feel the way about them that this author did.

In a way though, my tv fandom made me want to do the same thing she does in the book. I bought a book at the bookstore I work at when I saw it told about all the Little House locations to visit in the country. That was when I learned fascinating things about where they'd lived. I have visited the site in Missouri, although didn't have the money at the time for the tour.

Anyways, on with reviews for the book itself. This was a great story. I see so much of the author in myself. Being on a quest to learn all she can about something she loves, and being excited and thrilled at one moment, and disappointed and disillusioned the next. Hearing about all the places she visited reminded me of my plan to go visit them. At the time I got the book I had my Subaru Forrester, and I planned to pack what I needed in the car, along with the dog. I bought a book on pet friendly hotels, and I was going to take one of my summers off from teaching to drive around the country. I believe I decided I couldn't afford it at the time, so I never ended up making it. I think it is great that the author's boyfriend went along with her. What a great guy he sounds like!

I learned so much about the books as well as even some actual history from this book. And I'm inspired once again to make this trip one summer in the future. Okay, now there were some specific parts in the book that I had to mark the pages to come back and talk about.

Early on in the book she discusses that she found it interesting that not all girls wanted to be Laura, some liked Mary better, they were happy living a peaceful no surprise type like. And pointed out that this is often the oldest child (which I am) and this is how I kind of like my life. Now, halfway through the book I had to chuckle a bit as she called out Twilighters (which again, I am) when she talked about the end timers waiting for the collapse of civilization like us Twilighters waiting for the trailer of Breaking Dawn.

Another part I really laughed at was when she was talking to the two men who had brought two girls for the Laura lookalike contest in Walnut Grove, and one of them said he didn't like that Golden Girls had taken the time slot when he used to watch Little House on the Prairie. I agree with him, in that I also didn't care about an old ladies sex life.

Towards the end of the book she discusses going to the new Little House on the Prairie musical, which I got to see last summer! I loved seeing Melissa Gilbert, I only wish I'd had a chance to get her autograph or a picture taken with her. I'm such a celebrity geek! On the same page she mentions driving through the Twin Cities and all she knows about them is from Purple Rain. Again, I love this author's pop culture references! I knew about Chicago before I ever went but only from the movies Adventures in Babysitting and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

On a more somber note, at the end of the book she thinks about when Laura thought about how she finally realized she could be herself even without her family when they were gone. And the author thought about when she lost her mother and wondered if she could still be herself now. I've not lost anyone that close, but I've had the same feelings when losing grandfathers or uncles. Imagining family gatherings without them was hard. But when they happened, they went on, and it was okay.

I will highly recommend this book when it is published, and like Confessions of a Prairie Bitch by Alison Arngrim, it will be a staff rec at the bookstore where I work.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Hazards of Working at a Bookstore Vol. 1.9 Part 2

Got done with a lot of grading tonight so that I can finish this blog. I've got 5 more books to share. So here we go.

First is Hater by David Moody. This is a grown-up novel. This is one of those covers that grabbed me. It is the title Hater as if in red paint, or blood maybe, splattered on a white background. So, I picked it up to read the back and see what it was about. All of a sudden people become violent, they turn into murderers, even to the point of killing their own loved ones. They call the people doing this haters, hence the title. Basically it is a type of zombie story, in that this is some kind of disorder. In fact, Guillermo Del Toro has bought the rights to this book for a movie, so I am looking forward to seeing that movie come out. In looking up the info on the book, I saw that it was self published first. Glad to see it got a wide release.

Second is I Totally Meant to Do That by Jane Borden. I believe this is a memoir by the author about growing up in a proper southern home as a debutante, then going away to a boarding school in Virginia, then joining a sorority in college. THEN, she moved to New York, where she found no one cared about all of this stuff. So she had to actually reconcile her past with the new "cool" she was living with. This sounds like it could be very funny! It's on my list to read!

Third is The Family That Couldn't Sleep by D.T. Max. This is actually in the medical section at the bookstore I work at. It is about a family that keeps having members die because they don't get enough sleep and they die of exhaustion. And the reason for these issues is traced to prions. Prions are very scary things. I recently lost an uncle to something like this. And so it is a personal interest to me to read and learn more about this, as well as a curiosity to the science teacher in me.

Fourth is Zombie Autopsies by Steven C. Schlozman. This is another grown-up book, probably even considered Science fiction. Anyway, you can probably see a trend of zombie books on my list to read, but a lot of them are so good, and many even have the little science details that I like so much. It is written as if it is the journal of a neuroscientist, who is actually already infected with the disease, called ataxic neurodegenerative satiety deficiency syndrome (ANSD). So he decides to go to an island to dissect zombies in order to try to find the cure in time to save himself as well as the world. I guess it is printed as if it is actually a handwritten journal.

And finally, a teen book called Entwined by Heather Dixon. This is more detailed/teen friendly version of a Grimm's fairy tale called the Worn-Out Dancing Shoes or the Twelve Dancing Princesses. There are 12 daughters in the royal family, and Azalea is the oldest. Their mother dies, and while they are supposed to be in mourning, they find a secret passageway that leads to another world where they can dance all night. But the Keeper of this world has other plans for the girls, evil plans. This sounds so good I can't wait to read it!

The Hazards of Working at a Bookstore Vol. 1.9 Part 1

I have so many books from working this past Wednesday, and then last night, I am going to split this blog into two parts to save myself some time. So check back, hopefully later tonight for the rest.

First is going to be Eliza's Freedom Road by Jerdine Nolen. Now this is really a young readers book, not teen level. But I am a sucker for any Civil War story. And this one really hits close to my childhood. Why? Because at the private school I went to from 1st-8th grade, for handwriting, at one point we had to just copy from books. And the book I copied from most of the time was a book about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. And this story is about a young slave named Eliza who has her mother sent away, and soon the owner is talking of selling the slaves, especially a young girl like Eliza who will be a very big moneymaker. Eliza decides to run away using the stories her mother taught her about the Freedom Road.

Next is Balefire by Cate Tiernan. I guess this is actually an omnibus of a whole series all in one book. There are two girls who look almost identical, one of them has just moved to New Orleans where the other one already lives. And it isn't just a separated at birth kind of thing, it's much darker. Don't know much more than that, but it sounds great.

Third is Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter. The main character is Kylie whose life seems to be going downhill, parents getting a divorce, boyfriend dumping her, grandmother dies, and now she has a stalker. Her counselor decides to send her to a school supposedly for troubled teens. Turns out the school is actually home to vampires, werewolves, fairies, witches, and shapeshifters, and supposedly Kylie is one of them.

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes is about a girl named Theia who lives a pretty sheltered life, but she dreams about a boy with haunting eyes all the time. Then one day he shows up at her school, and of course she's pulled to him, even though he seems hot and cold to her. She soon learns what he really is, and still thinks she wants to be with him.

And the last one I'll talk about now, and then I'll just do a part two with the other books, is Subject Seven by James A. Moore. Another teen book. In a way the storyline of this somewhat reminds me of I Am Number Four. There were several children genetically modified and raised in the Janus Project. These children are sent away after the original Alpha kills the the head scientist and his guards and escapes. In the future, they begin to feel a call, and feel like their bodies are being taken over by something that they can't control. It is compared somewhat to a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story. They are gathered back together by Subject Seven and find out they were supposed to be killed instead of adopted out, and must band together to save themselves.