Monthly Archives: August 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top TBR for Fall 2011


It’s time for another Top Ten List! This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list spotlights the books on my Fall To Be Read List. I have been thinking about this list all week. In fact, I did a draft over the weekend that included 16 titles. Alas, this is not Top Sixteen Tuesday. If I limit myself to books released only between the Autumnal Equinox (Sept. 22) and the Winter Solstice (Dec. 21) I whittle my list down to twelve. I am sticking with that! In order of their publication dates, here is my T.T(welve).T. TBR books:

Lost in Time by Melissa de la Cruz 
Book 6 in the Blue Bloods series September  27





 Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins September 29




The Mark of the Golden Dragon by L. A. Meyer Book 9 in the Bloody Jack series October 3





The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
Book 2 in The Lost Heroes series October 4




Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
Book 3 in the Fallen Angels series October 4





Frost by Wendy Delsol
Sequel to Stork October 11





Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohls
Book 3 in the Caster Chronicles series October 18




Crossed by Ally Condie
Sequel to Matched November 1





I am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley
Book 4 in the Flavia De Luce series November 1





Prized by Caragh O’Brien
Sequel to Birthmarked November 8






The Future of Us  by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler Nov. 21







Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Book 2 in the Infernal Devices series December 6





Are you wondering what got cut from my list?

Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson August 30 (sequel to The Adoration of Jenna Fox)

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake August 30

All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin September 6 (A new dystopian trilogy from the author of Elsewhere and Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac)

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson September 20 (A supernatural, Victorian-era, Jack the Ripper mystery. OMG!)

While I wait I am going to start Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. It’s been a while since I have read a zombie book.

Happy Reading!


Mondays With Megan (and Sherlock Holmes)

Hi Everyone! How was your weekend? I know a lot of people were worrying about Hurricane Irene, but here in Cleveland we did not have to endure any extreme forces of nature. In fact, it was quite a pleasant weekend. When I was not working or driving around for the sole purpose of listening to The Help by Kathryn Stockett on cd, I was immersed in two very different interpretations of the great and timeless Sherlock Holmes.

I began the weekend reading Eye of the Crow by Shane Peacock. In this first book in a series readers are introduced to a thirteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes. Young Holmes is the son of a Jewish scholar and a wealthy upper-class woman. Disowned and shunned for their mixed marriage, the Holmes’ live in poverty. Sherlock is intelligent, observant, and bored out of his mind at school. His truancy habit leads him to his first case-the murder of an unknown woman in a disreputable London neighborhood. Authorities quickly apprehend a suspect, a young Arab man who declares his innocence. Unable to resist involvement,  Sherlock begins searching for clues to support the man’s claim. Readers familiar with the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will recognize the Baker Street Irregulars, Inspector Lestrade, and even Irene (though she is Irene Doyle, not Adler). I am about half way through the story and enjoying it very much. I will definitely continue with more of the series.

I also spent the weekend enjoying a modern version of Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch  and Martin Freeman, brings the consulting detective and his assistant/friend/flatmate Watson into 21st century London. This modern Sherlock is an odd, emotionally detached, and slightly anti-social character. I am quite amused by this. In fact, this character reminded me of one of my favorite characters-Dr. Gregory House. I would love to see those two characters work together! Holmes still carries a magnifying glass, and relies on intuition and the power of deductive reasoning, but he also carries a cell phone, texts, and using GPS. Dr. Watson, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, recounts their adventures on his blog. I can’t wait for the second season, airing sometime in 2012. The second season is going to include The Hound of the Baskerville. I’ll bet that episode is going to be awesome and creepy.

Still want more Holmes? Try these graphic adaptations:

These graphic novels are illustrated by Ian Culbard and adapted by Ian Edington.




How about a different take on a young Sherlock Holmes?

According to the book jacket, Death Cloud by Andrew Lane is the “first teen series endorsed by the Conan Doyle Estate.” I am interested to see how the two young Sherlocks compare.



Happy Reading!


Teen Top Ten Voting

It’s time to vote for the YALSA’s Teen Top Ten Award. The polls are open until September 16th and the winners will be announced during Teen Read Week, October 16-22. There are 25 nominees and you can vote for three.

Drought by Pam Bachorz
I am J by Cris Beam
You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin
Zombies vs. Unicorns by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card
The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Love, Inc by Yvonne Collins
Matched by Ally Condie
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
Lies by Michael Grant
Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Iron King by Julie Kagawa
I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Red Moon Rising by Peter Moore
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
The False Princess by Ellis O’Neal
Angel: A Maximum Ride Novel by James Patterson
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

That’s quite a list. And it’s a cruel, cruel world that only allows you to pick 3! Since I am too old to officially vote I don’t feel bound by the rules. I haven’t read all of the books on the list, but I picked my favorite 9 from the ones I have (the purple ones would get my vote). Have you read all the nominees? Which titles have your vote?

I am off to welcome students to the library. Happy Reading!


My Top Ten List (Better Late Than Never, Right): Books I Loved But Never Reviewed

I know it’s Wednesday, but I just love creating a Top Ten list that I figured better late than never. This fun meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s list in ten books that I loved but did not review. It’s going to be hard to whittle the list to just ten!

1. The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Dead-Tossed Waves, and The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan. I LOVED these zombie apocalypse books, I have met the genius behind the books, I recommend them to everyone, and yet…no written reviews. Lame. P.S. The last book was my favorite.

2. White Cat and Red Glove by Holly Black. I love the alternate reality, the Curse Workers, and the male POV. I can’t wait for Black Heart-maybe I will work on reviews in the meantime!

3. Heist Society and Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter. Actually, let’s be honest here. I talk about Ally Carter, The Gallagher Girls, and Cammie ALL THE TIME. One of these books has been on just about every TTT list I have made. Any actual reviews out there by me? Nope.

4. Paranormalcy and Supernaturally by Kiersten White. These books are like getting a great big hug. I want everyone to get hugged by these books. I talk about them all the time and I know Evie/Tasey/Kiersten have been included in Top Ten lists. I hang my head in shame that I have not written actual reviews. *Sigh*

5. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. I am a big fan of her Mortal Instruments series (yeah, didn’t review those either) and loved this first book in the prequel series even more. I am not too worried about this one though, Cassie Clare gets plenty of publicity without my tiny (but very important to me) little two cents blog.

6. Leviathan and Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld. The man is a genius. That’s really all I have to say on the matter.

7. The Cardturner by Louis Sachar. No magic, no vampires, no heart-pounding action, but it is still one of my favorites. I am so excited to have my book club read it this year.

8. The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey. This is the only vampire series I still follow. I love it and think you should read it too. I know it’s awfully bossy of me, but the chances of me writing reviews for the first three books are slim.

9. Gone by Michael Grant. Here is another series that tops all of my lists. I love them. I want everyone to read them. I so fortunate to have an ARC connection and I have met and was charmed by Michael Grant. I will probably never write reviews.

10. Speaking of never going to happen…I also read, loved, and didn’t review a single Harry Potter, Twilight, and Percy Jackson book. Oh well.

Thanks for stopping by on a Wednesday!

Happy Reading!


Mondays with Megan: Favorite Boarding School Settings

It’s back to school week…where did  the summer go? In honor of the new school year I have created a list of my favorite books featuring boarding schools that may not be as well-known as Hogwarts.

1. The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter. The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a top-secret spy school for girls.

2. The Curse of the Blue Tattoo by L.A. Meyer. Jacky Faber is sent to The Lawson Peabody School for Girls. Most of her time there is a disaster, but she does learn “The Look,” which serves her well in future adventures.

3. Gone series by Michael Grant. The Coates Academy is a private school located near Perdido Beach. This elite boarding school is were wealthy families send their troubled teens. Many of the powerful players in the FAYZ come from Coates.

4. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. Hecate Hall (aka Hex Hall) is a boarding school for delinquent children of magical beings.

5. Looking for Alaska by John Green. This debut novel and winner of the Michael L. Prinz award takes place at the Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama.

6. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. The title character is the mastermind behind a number of brilliant and anonymous pranks at the prestigious Alabaster Preparatory Academy.

7. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I cannot remember the name of the American school in Paris, but that is not important. What is important is that this very awesome book takes place in a boarding school in Paris.

8. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. The Spence Academy for Young Ladies is the setting for this Victorian-era paranormal tale. This is the first book in the Gemma Doyle trilogy.

9. Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman. Two girls in search of Mr. Darcy-like boyfriends crash a dance at the town’s exclusive boy’s school.

10. Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney. This one is on my TBR list. It’s a book about date rape and how one group of students band together to address the issue.

Happy Reading!


Woman in Black with Daniel Radcliffe

Harry Potter is all grown up and so is Daniel Radcliffe. The young star may be done with Hogwarts and magic, but there are still more ghosts in his future. I just saw a trailer of his newest movie, The Woman in Black, posted on Facebook today and had to learn more. WARNING: This clip is seriously CREEPY!

The film is based on the novel of the same name by Susan Hill. Originally published in 1983, The Woman in Black is the story of a young lawyer who travels to Eel Marsh House, an isolated estate on an English moor, to attend the funeral and settle the estate of the owner, Mrs. Alice Drablow. What should be a matter of routine formalities turns into a terrifying nightmare as the house appears to be haunted by a vengeful ghost.

I have not read the book yet and horror movies terrify me, but I may have to see it just for Daniel Radcliffe. The movie is scheduled for release February 3, 2012. The book is scheduled to be rereleased as a movie tie-in in January of 2012.

Happy Reading!


W.W.W Wednesday-A New Meme I am Joining

I am not feeling very creative this week, so I am grateful for all my fellow book bloggers who are hosting fun memes. Today I discovered W.W.W Wednesday, hosted by Should Be Reading. It’s simple, really. To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…






• What are you currently reading?                                 
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

Recently Read:

Pop by Gordon Korman

Marcus Jordan is the new kid in town. Friendless and determined to earn a spot on the high school’s champion football team, he starts practicing alone in the park. He is soon joined by Charlie, a charismatic and odd middle-aged prankster who knows a lot about football. The unusual pair quickly develop a camaraderie, but when Charlie’s behavior becomes more unpredictable, Marcus learns the surprising truth about his new friend. Charlie is Charlie Popovich the former NFL star whose brutal tackling earned him the nickname “The King of Pop” and he is suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s. Marcus is not sure how to deal with this news, but he does know that he may have to defy Charlie’s family in order to do what is best for his friend.

My coworker has raved about this book since it came out two years ago and yet it never seemed to make it to the top of my TBR pile. I started to read it Monday after work and by the time I closed my eyes to sleep that night I have finished it. Here are the things I loved about the book:
1. The head cheerleader knows as much, if not more, about football than the players
2. Adults are present and active in the lives of the teens
3. It’s funny (I must admit, I love a good prank) and sad, but also hopeful and positive
4. High-stakes football action
5. There’s something for everyone. Give this book to teens who enjoy sports, football, and stories about unlikely friendships.

If you like Pop, you may also enjoy The Cardturner by Louis Sachar and The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacquelyn Kelly

What Will I Read Next?

I haven’t decided yet. Either the new adult novel by Wendy Delsol, the author of Stork or a zombie book.



I like this game!

Happy reading!


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday it a weekly meme hosted by the clever bloggers over at The Broke and The Bookish. I found this week challenging because it is a Freebie, meaning not only did I have to create the list, but I had to come up with the topic as well. After many half-finished lists and half-baked ideas, I finally settle on my topic: Graphic Novels. I have been making an effort to read more graphic novels and manga and have found some titles that I really enjoy. Here are my favorites:


The Big Book of Barry Ween, Boy Genius by Judd Winick is wickedly and ridiculously funny. All 12 of the potty-mouthed 10-year-old genius’ adventures are compiled into one enormous volume. Time warps, intelligent apes, the FBI, and turning his best friend into a dinosaur are just par for the course for Barry. The illustrations and dialog are laugh out loud hilarious. Barry Ween is Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes for the next generation.


Cirque du Freak: The Manga by Darren Shan is one of my favorite series so far. I will admit that I have a hard time getting into manga, so this hybrid series is perfect for me. The story of young Darren Shan and his transformation from average boy to vampire is brought to life in traditional Japanese style. I also like being able to read this 12 book series in a matter of hours.


I just reviewed Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gullidge here. This autobiographical book is charming and inspirational.





The Bone series by Jeff Smith was a recommended to me by a couple of coworkers and I finally got around to it this year. I found the series to be charming, humorous, and full of adventure.




Chi’s Sweet Home by Kanata Konami is an adorable all-ages series starring Chi, a precocious orphaned kitten who is adopted by a family. Each volume is packed with new adventures as Chi tries to learn the ways of the world. It takes a pretty darling cat to win the heart of this non-cat person!



Axe Cop is a collaboration between Ethan Nicolle and his five-year old brother Malachai. Young Malachai is the mastermind behind this bizarre, yet hilarious, superhero adventure starring Axe Cop.




Speaking of strange and hilarious, here’s another that fits the bill: 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (and Other Useful Guides) by Matthew Inman. What started as a web comic has now been compiled and published for all you book lovers. Be sure to check out more at


Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog was created during the Writers Guild of America strike of 2007-2008 by brothers Josh and Zack Whedon. The musical starred Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Horrible (I confess that this was my sole motivation for watching the movie). Tie-in comic books were created by Dark Horse. Dr. Horrible and Other Horrible Stories is a compilation of those comics. Again, hilarious.


The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci is one of the first YA graphic novels that I ever read. This is the story of four girls named Jane who secretly start a street art rebellion. Their projects they do are so cool it makes me wish I was that creative. This book is all about girl power and is a perfect companion to Page by Paige.


The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam is a combination biography and memoir. Artist and filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming writes about her journey to learn more about her great-grandfather, one of the greatest vaudeville performers in history. I struggle with reading nonfiction, but the graphic format really brought the story to life for me.


That’s all for this week. Happy Reading!


Mondays with Megan: I Bought Books This Weekend!

Today I was flipping through Chase’s Calendar of Events 2011 (if you aren’t fortunate to have access to the giant book, you can see it here) and learned that today is Joe Jonas’ birthday, Best Friend Day and National Relaxation Day. A nap sure sounds good right about now.

I did a little book shopping over the weekend! I am very excited about my purchases:

Stork by Wendy Delsol. If I can talk myself into 6 hours of driving on Sunday I will get it signed!
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier. I haven’t read this one yet, but I am told it’s a wonderful mix if historical fiction, time travel  and romance.
This is Where I Leave You by Jonathon Tropper (not YA)

From Netgalley:

Ditched: a Love Story by Robin Mellom
Ashes by Ilsa J.Blick

Won from Peace, Love, and Teen Fiction

Beauty Queens (ARC) by Libba Bray.

It was a good weekend!

On a non-book related topic, I found a new show to watch-The Great Food Truck Race on Food Network. I’ve got my fingers crossed for Hodge Podge, the truck representing my hometown of Cleveland!

Finally, please stop by my new library fan page. Check us out on Facebook at Rocky River Public Library Teens. I will do a little giveaway when we reach 50 fans. Deal? Okay thanks.

Happy Reading!


Going Graphic

TGIF! Seriously, it has been a long week and I am looking forward to some weekend relaxing. The weather is supposed to be lovely, I have a stack of books just waiting for my attention, and I have the whole weekend off. This week I brought home five graphic novels and managed to finish three. The first order of business was to catch up on a couple of series that I read.

Chi’s Sweet Home by Konami Kanata is a charming all-ages manga series that follows the life of a stray kitten and the family that adopts her. Chi is mischievous and precocious and often find’s herself in some precarious situations. Volume 6 contains my all-time favorite Chi incident: pigeon stalking. I laughed out loud at the eight pages showing Chi trying to catch a pigeon that was walking down the sidewalk. This volume is full of gems like this. Pushing things down the stairs, attacking a houseplant, making new friends, and getting a new collar are all part of Chi’s daily adventures.

I went straight from adorable kittens to vampires with The Lake of Souls, the tenth installment of the Cirque du Freak manga series.

I really like the Cirque du Freak: The Manga by Darren Shan. I did not read the original books and was overwhelmed at the idea of starting a 13 book series, but I was looking for non-sparkly vampires that would have guy appeal. The manga was the perfect solution. The series follows Darren Shan, a young half-vampire as he rises through the ranks of the vampire society. Certainly not cute and cuddly, but great fun and action-packed.


Finally, I read Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge. This one satisfied two reading challenges-graphic novel and debut author.

Page by Paige is the story of how Page Turner (yeah, her parent’s are writers) copes with her new life in New York City through her art. She struggles insecurity, loneliness, and her big secret: she wants to be an artist. She slowly makes friends and begins sharing her art first with them, and then with a larger audience. I really liked this one. The black and white art is simple but powerful and it tells it’s own story. This autobiographical debut is heartfelt and inspirational. Fans of Cecil Castellucci’s Plain Janes and Janes in Love will enjoy this books.

Time to wrap it up. I will leave you with my thoughts on last night’s Project Runway.

1. The chiffon outfit was hideous. What were they thinking?
2. Bert and Viktor were obnoxious. I loved Bert after the first episode but now I think I am over him.
3. What’s the deal with Oliver? Fake accent? Still bitter about the awful dogbed sherpa top. Super ugly.

Have a great weekend!

Happy Reading!