Friday, April 27, 2012

Review: Spell Bound

Spell Bound
by Rachel Hawkins
Hex Hall, book three

Book Description:
Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?
As this is book three, I'm going to be a little cryptic. I don't want to spoil anything for those that haven't read Hex Hall and Demonglass yet.  
Poor Sophie's life has become miserable!  Her boyfriend is assumed to be dead, her dad is presumed missing, and her school has been taken over by some seriously bad witches who want to raise an army!
Even with all this awful, this book still managed to be funny!  Sophie is just perfectly sarcastic. I love her!! With the funny bits, the awesome action scenes, the romance, and the ending...I thought this whole book packed just the right punch. 
It wrapped things up very well. I am sad to see this trilogy end, but I thought this were left at a good point!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Listen up fans of The Iron Fey Series!!

Coming this September:

The Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa

A new anthology including Summer's Crossing, Winter's Passage, and a new novella, Iron's Prophecy. There will also be an expanded guide to the NeverNever and an excerpt from THE LOST PRINCE!!

Review: Body of Water

Body of Water
by Sarah Dooley

Book Description:
Twelve-year-old Ember’s trailer home has been burned in a fire set most likely by her best friend, a boy whose father believes Ember’s family are witches. Yes, Ember’s mom reads Tarot cards as a business. Ember’s friend set the fire to warn the family before his dad did something worse to them. The friend never intended to do so much damage.

Now the family is homeless, and living in a campground. They have no money. Ember’s beloved dog is missing. School is going to start, and Ember and her sister have no clean clothes, no notebooks. The only place Ember feels at peace is floating in the middle of the lake at the campground. She has to make a fresh start. Can she?

Ember has no house, no money, no clothes, and no friends.  Life sucks.
Though I didn't *like* Ember, I really understood her.  She was not always nice, but who would be when they were homeless and knew that their best friend had betrayed them??  I understood where she was coming from all the way through. 
Though the end of this book seemed to wrap up a little too neatly, I really enjoyed the story and thought it was way more interesting than the poor cover that the book got saddled with...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: Circus Galacticus

Circus Galacticus
by Deva Fagan

Book Description:
Trix can deal with being an orphan charity case at a snotty boarding school. She can hold her own when everyone else tells her not to dream big dreams. She can even fight back against the mysterious stranger in a silver mask who tries to steal the meteorite her parents trusted her to protect.

But her life is about to change forever. The Circus Galacticus has come to town, bringing acts to amaze, delight, and terrify. And now the dazzling but enigmatic young Ringmaster has offered Trix the chance to be a part of it.

Soon Trix discovers an entire universe full of deadly enemies and potential friends, not to mention space leeches, ancient alien artifacts, and exploding chocolate desserts. And she just might unravel the secrets of her own past if she can survive long enough.
I loved this book. It is the perfect blend of the fantastic elements of a circus and the sci-fi adventure of space travel!
Trix was a character desperate to fit in. To find where she truly belonged. To find lifelong friends....and she finds it all in the Circus Galacticus.
Never mind that she has to help them win an inter-galactic war...with cool powers!
Never mind that she has cotton candy pink hair!
Never mind that there is an awesome and mysterious Ringmaster... and a big top that turns into the coolest space ship...EVAH!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review: Enchanted

by Alethea Kontis

Book Description:
It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past—and hers?
This is definitely one of the best fairy tale mash-ups I have read in a long time. It outright sparkles.

The characters are well drawn, fully fledged...with flaws and all. They have hidden agendas, complicated interactions, and yet also a seemingly infinite hope for a bright and loving future.

Here, fanciful bits of almost every classic fairy tale combine and dance through Sunday's story, creating a vibrant, effervescent new world for readers to play in. The twists and turns of the story include nods to genre classics, and end up highlighting an emotional depth that I had not expected in the story. 

This is truly a book that no fairy tale reader should miss.

Worthy of a sparkly gold star.

Review: Page by Paige

Page by Paige
by Laura Lee Gulledge

Book Description:
Paige Turner has just moved to New York with her family, and she's having some trouble adjusting to the big city. In the pages of her sketchbook, she tries to make sense of her new life, including trying out her secret identity: artist. As she makes friends and starts to explore the city, she slowly brings her secret identity out into the open, a process that is equal parts terrifying and rewarding.

I really enjoyed this book.  I thought that Paige and her trouble adjusting to the big city was totally relatable.  Her first real crush was fun to read about and I loved her new friendships. 

I thought the drawings were beautifully done.  The conceptual artwork here really is stellar...check out this example:

Paige uses the pages of her notebook to chronicle how she's feeling and the way she draws these emotions is phenomenal. Love, love, love. So far, I think this is one of the best graphic novels I've ever read!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Review: Dead is a Battlefield

Dead is a Battlefield
by Marlene Perez
Dead Is series, book six
Book Description:
Jessica Walsh is starting her freshman year at Nightshade High and trying to forget about the tragic events surrounding her brother’s graduation. She wants to have a normal high school experience. But that’s easier said than done in Nightshade. There’s a new guy at school who seems to be turning the girls into lovesick zombies. And Jessica has other worries—like her crush on a cute but moody lead singer, and the mysterious tattoo that appeared on her arm one day that lets her know whenever there is trouble brewing. Jessica learns she’s a Virago, a woman warrior chosen to fight evil whenever it threatens her hometown. But does a lowly freshman really have what it takes to keep Nightshade safe?
I LOVE this series. 
They are fun to read, super quick reads and each turns out to be a pure guilty pleasure.
Technically this is book six in the Dead Is series, but it feels totally fresh because there is a new main character. The first five books (starting with Dead is the New Black) feature Daisy Giordano as the main character.  She is a sassy psychic trying to navigate high school, dating, and family issues while living in a town populated by vampires, werewolves, ghosts, psychics, and more! Daisy is a super fun character, but so is Jessica Walsh.  She is also actually the younger sister of Daisy's best friend's boyfriend, so while Daisy and her crew have all graduated from Nightshade High and moved on, there are still great ties to the first five books. 
I cannot wait to see what happens next in Dead is a Killer Tune (coming out in Sept.)!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The WSPL Rock the Drop Contribution!!

Hey! You all saw the post yesterday about ROCK THE DROP, right??!!

Well, to help out with Support Teen Literature Day, we left out four YA books for people to find in the local downtown West Springfield area... maybe you'll come across one??

Want a couple of clues?

Deanna left a copy of Sophie Jordan's FIRELIGHT outside a local cemetary!

And Jessica left a copy of Dawn Metcalf's LUMINOUS outside the local firehouse...

There was also copies of Marie Lu's LEGEND and P.C. and Kristin Cast's MARKED left somewhere in the downtown area.  You may want to take a walk downtown to see if they're still hanging out!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Will You Rock The Drop?

Rock the Drop 2012
Once again, people nationwide going to ROCK THE DROP in honor of Support Teen Literature Day today!! We can't wait!

Here's how you can get involved:

* Get a copy of the above bookplate from Jessica or Terri and insert it into a book (or 10!) that you'll drop on April 12th. This should be a book that you’ve loved. One that you OWN (not a Library book)

* Drop the book in a public spot (park bench, bus seat, restaurant counter?) Lucky finders will see that the book is part of ROCK THE DROP!
 * You can also snap a photo of your drop and post it on your Facebook or Twitter account. Then tweet the drop at #rockthedrop with all the other lovers of YA books. If you do, also email the picture to and we’ll post your picture here on our YA book blog!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Review: The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin
by Josh Berk

Book Description:
Being a hefty, deaf newcomer almost makes Will Halpin the least popular guy at Coaler High. But when he befriends the only guy less popular than him, the dork-namic duo has the smarts and guts to figure out who knocked off the star quarterback. Will can’t hear what’s going on, but he’s a great observer. So, who did it? And why does that guy talk to his fingers? And will the beautiful girl ever notice him? (Okay, so Will’s interested in more than just murder . . .)

I was really surprised how funny this book was...even though it's a great mystery and there's some great suspense, I ended up laughing out loud through most of my reading. 

Will and his new friend, Devon, build a great rapport and they deal with Will's deafness is a really cool way. They talk like normal, slightly weird teens, and they text constantly. They felt really real.

This is one of those books that has kind-of a weird title and a bad cover, but the story is actually REALLY good. I dare you to try it!! I would *love* to read a follow up mystery starring these two self-proclaimed "Hardy Boys."

*This was my selection for the April Meeting of our book club, Flippin' Pages. We did mystery books this month! Next meeting is May 8th and we'll be talking about our favorite PARANORMAL books.*

Monday, April 9, 2012

Flippin' Pages April Meeting Reminder!!

Hey Guys!

Don't forget to join us here at the West Springfield Public Library for the April meeting of our teen book club, FLIPPIN' PAGES!!

If you're in grades 6-12, join us for a snack and tell us all about your favorite MYSTERY books!

TUESDAY, April 10th at 3:30 p.m.

Review: Promise the Night

Promise the Night
by Michaela MacColl

Book Description:
Beryl moved with her family to the highlands of Kenya as a toddler. Not long after, her mother and brother returned to England, abandoning her with her rough though loving father. MacColl's account begins when a leopard steals into Beryl's hut and attacks her dog—the child leaping from her bed to give chase. Though she loses the leopard in the night, the next morning, she and her new friend, a Nandi boy, Kibii, find the dog still alive and save it. Later she insists on being part of the hunt for the leopard. Young Beryl wants nothing more than to be a warrior, a murani, and to be able to leap higher than her own head. Her jumping skills progress apace, but young white girls, no matter how determined, cannot become part of the Nandi tribe. Her relationship with Kibii's father, the wise Arap Maina, along with a growing awareness of the consequences of her actions, help lead her into a more mature—though still wildly impulsive and daring—life.

Okay, please promise me that you will ignore the weird cover and title on this book!! I *really* liked this one. 

It is the story of Beryl Markham's wild childhood in Africa, with the chapters interspersed with actual journal entries and interviews that Beryl did as a grown woman when she became a famous pilot.  It is exciting and interesting and made me want to go to Africa. 

Beryl's interaction with the local Nandi tribe were also interesting and funny. They had a bunch of different customs and Beryl didn't really care how they did things...just how she wanted to do things.  She was kind of a brat sometimes, but you couldn't help but admire her bravery.

Well written and very engaging! Please give this one a shot!!

Review: Tall Story

Tall Story
by Candy Gourlay

Book Description:
Andi is short. And she has lots of wishes. She wishes she could play on the school basketball team, she wishes for her own bedroom, but most of all she wishes that her long-lost half-brother, Bernardo, could come and live in London where he belongs.

Then Andi's biggest wish comes true and she's minutes away from becoming someone's little sister. As she waits anxiously for Bernardo to arrive from the Philippines, she hopes he'll turn out to be tall and just as crazy as she is about basketball. When he finally arrives, he's tall all right. Eight feet tall, in fact—plagued by condition called Gigantism and troubled by secrets that he believes led to his phenomenal growth.

I hadn't been sure I would like this story, but it was actually a very touching, almost folk-story feeling tale.

I loved both Bernardo and Andi in different ways. He was a wonderful boy, who just happened to grow 8 feet tall, and had to deal with how that affected how all the people around him viewed him. Andi was fiesty, loyal, and incredibly impatient to be independent...and yet, she loved her brother without reservation.  Their family loyalty was amazing to read about!

With a slight touch of "magic" and a great, loving family, this turned out to be a great read! I recommend it if you like real life family stories, folk tales, or even just books about basketball!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Review: My Name is Not Easy

My Name is Not Easy
by Debby Dahl Edwardson

Book Description:
My name is not easy. My name is hard like ocean ice grinding the shore . . . Luke knows his Iñupiaq name is full of sounds white people can’t say. So he leaves it behind when he and his brothers are sent to boarding school hundreds of miles away from their Arctic village. At Sacred Heart School, students—Eskimo, Indian, White—line up on different sides of the cafeteria like there’s some kind of war going on. Here, speaking Iñupiaq—or any native language—is forbidden. And Father Mullen, whose fury is like a force of nature, is ready to slap down those who disobey. Luke struggles to survive at Sacred Heart. But he’s not the only one. There’s smart-aleck Amiq, a daring leader— if he doesn’t self-destruct; Chickie, blond and freckled, a different kind of outsider; and small, quiet Junior, noticing everything and writing it all down. They each have their own story to tell. But once their separate stories come together, things at Sacred Heart School—and the wider world—will never be the same.

There were parts of this book I really enjoyed. I thought the characters were well drawn and I learned a lot about Alaskan culture during the Cold War. I had no idea that Eskimos and other native tribes were all thrown together in schools far from their own homes. 

I did feel, though, like this book was disjointed and so I had trouble sticking with it. There were a lot of major, important events that happened to the kids in this book and they happened over several years...but I couldn't really keep track of the time that was passing in the book.  It just didn't quite work for me.

Review: Island's End

Island's End
by Padma Venkatraman

Book Description:
Uido is ecstatic about becoming her tribe's spiritual leader, but her new position brings her older brother's jealousy and her best friend's mistrust. And looming above these troubles are the recent visits of strangers from the mainland who have little regard for nature or the spirits, and tempt the tribe members with gifts, making them curious about modern life. When Uido's little brother falls deathly ill, she must cross the ocean and seek their help. Having now seen so many new things, will Uido have the strength to believe in herself and the old ways? And will her people trust her to lead them to safety when a catastrophic tsunami threatens? Uido must overcome everyone's doubts, including her own, if she is to keep her people safe and preserve the spirituality that has defined them.

I thought that this was a really interesting and slightly magical easy read.  The main character, Uido, was cool, because she really just wanted to help her people.  She was scared sometimes, but she pulled through to save her people.  I liked how it is based on real natives from real islands off the coast of India. I had no idea they were even there! I thought the culture clash they experienced with the people in mainland India was well depicted and that the spiritual journey Uido faced was very intriguing.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

If You Like: Stories about Pranks and Hazing

If You Like… is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love.

This week's post includes all types of books and movies that have pranks or hazing.  While pranks can be a lot of fun, when it turns into the more dangerous form of hazing, things can get a little rough... check out our recommendations HERE!

What's on My Hold List?

I wanted to try out a new feature...
I think it will be fun a lot of fun!
Each month, I'll let you know
"What's on My Hold List?"

One of the most beautiful things about working at our Library is that I know what's coming out and what we'll be getting and I can put the books on hold right away!

These are some of the books that I'm currently waiting for:
by Laura Lee Gulledge

by Corinne Mucha

by Lee Nichols
Haunting Emma, book three

*This one is still on my hold list...apparently it's taking forever to come in. I'm getting REALLY close to breaking down and buying it...I really need to know how it ends!!*
*If you click on each title, it will take you to the book on for more information. :)*
So, these are the books I'm waiting anxiously to get my hands on...
what are YOU waiting for??