Monthly Archives: November 2010

Mondays with Megan: Darren Shan, Half-Vampire and Cirque du Freak Manga

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. I sure did. There was that little glitch with the dinner rolls, but redeemed myself on Saturday with the Spongebob birthday cake that I made for my nephew’s birthday. With all the baking and eating and birthday party-ing I got very little reading done. I did manage to finish books 5 and 6 in the Cirque du Freak manga series by Darren Shan. I am not sure if I have mentioned this already, but they are great! I can’t wait to get the next one, which should be available soon. What’s so great about Darren Shan, the teenaged half-vampire? I’m glad you asked. He is nothing like those sparkly vampires that all the girls swoon for (sparkly isn’t bad, but they aren’t the only vampires out there). I love how his relationship with Mr. Crepsley evolves. In the beginning Darren hates Mr. Crepsley and it takes many years for that to change. There is plenty of action and edge-of-your-seat drama. There is danger at every turn and you are never sure of who you can trust! And while the bloody battles and creepy spiders are pretty awesome, what I really love about Darren is what goes on inside his head. He struggles with some pretty heavy issues and has to make some tough decisions and so far he is always true to himself and his beliefs, and I really admire that in a vampire. Finally, I love that the manga format makes for a quick and engaging read. I need quick and engaging this time of year when there is so much to do. I highly recommend checking these out (unless you are squeamish or don’t like spider).

Up next for me this week: Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin. This is the Teen Pizza Pager’s book of the month. We will be eating pizza and talking about the afterlife next Wednesday. And for all you crafters, mark your calendars for December 14th. Stop by the auditorium after school for Christmasy crafts and snacks. I’ll have supplies to make ornaments, decorations, buttons and wreaths. You don’t need to register!

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

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Mondays with Megan, In Which I Recreate the Insane Coversation that I Had With the Dog

Hi everyone, it’s Monday again, and despite a very rough start (see below) I am trying to remind myself that 1. it’s a short work week, 2. there will be Thanksgiving dinner soon, and 3. I am going to see HP7 this week and these are all good things. But first, the not so good start to the day (totally not book or library related, but an amusing tale):

Me (to the dog): Good Morning!
Bad Dog: *whines* It’s about time you got up jerkface, you were sleeping for 7 hours. Geez. So, are you feeding me first or taking me for a walk.
Me: *looks around living room, gasps in horror* WHAT DID YOU DO??!!??
Bad Dog: Oh, that? That’s nothing, wait til you see the dining room and kitchen. So, about that walk…
Me:*desperately attempting to not yell at the dog as I discover the contents of the trash strewn about the living room, dining room, and kitchen* WHAT DID YOU DO??!!??
Bad Dog: So I am going outside first? (as I slap the lead on and boot her out the door so I can clean up the mess)
Me: *clean up trash, vacuum coffee grounds out of carpet, feed the BAD DOG*
Bad Dog: *gobbles down food* Um, just so you know, forcing me to sit in the cold on the porch does not count as a walk. C’mon, c’mon, c’mon. Let’s go! I should also warn you now that I am going to act like I have never taken a walk before. Be prepared for me to stop directly front of you without any warning-you’ll probably trip over me. I think I will also get myself tangled around your legs and I will probably refuse to pee in the rain for a while. So, are we going yet?
Me: *mutters under breath* I hate you right now. Let’s go.

On the bright side, I had been meaning to vacuum all weekend and never got around to it but I got to check vacuuming off the To Do list at 6:30 this morning! The yucky Monday start does not change the fact that I had a wonderfully lazy weekend. I finally mastered the knitting loom and made 3/4 of a scarf. I am excited to finish it and start a new one! I read the fourth installment of Cirque du Freak, the manga by Darren Shan and the three books in the Auntie Claus series by Elise Primavera. Basically I read picture books this weekend and it was GREAT! The Cirque du Freak books have been on my TBR pile forever, but there has just never been time. But now that the series has been made into graphic novels I can read a book in a little over an hour! The story is exciting and I don’t feel like I am missing anything by not reading the novel. I recommend this series to anyone looking for a good horror series. There is some gore, but then again, it is horror!

I am still working on a few ARCs-The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and The Girl Who Became a Beatle by Greg Taylor. I am also struggling through Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst. I am not sure if it is not clicking with me because I’ve been reading it before bed and I have just been too tired to concentrate or if it’s just not working for me. I will give it another try when I am not sleepy and let you know what happens. I am kind of all over the place with my reading lately!

Two last things. First, I have officially met my reading goal of 150 books for 2010. Yay. Second, tomorrow there will be a Minute to Win It style game day after school in the auditorium. Stop in for silly challenges, prizes, and snack!

That’s all for me today-Happy Reading

˜Megan

Mondays with Megan: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins Review

As you may recall last week was all about new things so I decided to read advanced reader copies of upcoming books. I was ever so fortunate to get my hands on an  ARC of Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins, which is the sequel to the very awesome Hex Hall. Let’s begin with Hex Hall:

After casting a spell that goes awry, Sophie finds herself at Hecate Hall (aka Hex Hall), a reform school/safe haven for children with magical abilities. It doesn’t take long for Sophie to find herself in a heap of trouble at her new school. The popular witches hate her; her only friend is a vampire accused of murder; and the gym teacher seems to be out to get her. To top it all off, the witches at the school are being attacked. Sophie desperately wants to get to the bottom of the attacks. As she searches for answers, she uncovers disturbing information about herself.

What’s not to love? It is full of magic, mystery, murder, romance, and snarky teen angst. Sophie is one sarcastic and hilarious witch. Hex Hall is pure fun from start to finish and the cliffhanger ending will leave you desperate for more  Sophie Mercer! This was definitely one of my favorite books of 2010. What are you waiting for? Go get this book. Now. I promise you won’t be sorry. Pair it with Paranormalcy by Kristen White for more magic, romance and sarcasm (I love sarcasm). Once you have read both of those it will be almost time for-drum roll please-

 Demonglass coming February 2011!

Sophie, Jenna, and Cal find themselves spending the summer in England with Sophie’s dad. Their holiday is anything but relaxing as Sophie is being both hunted and haunted. That’s all I am saying. Ok, fine, I will also say *sigh* so fantastic and if it’s even possible, I think this one is even funnier than the first! I am so lucky to have friends in high places who are willing to share such lovely lovely things with me. Demonglass is on order and in the catalog, so get yourself on hold for this one. It’s totally worth the wait.

I also managed to start two other ARCs. Hopefully I will finish and review The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and The Girl Who Became a Beatle by Greg Taylor this week.

Finally, a quick word about upcoming teen events. Tomorrow is another video game day and next Tuesday is the Minute to Win It challenge afternoon. Good times at the library.

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Teen Pizza Pagers

Hi All! Yesterday was the second meeting of the RRPL Teen Pizza Pagers. Nine teens (and me) got together to enjoy pizza (from Guseppe’s) and have a very animated conversation about The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan. Almost everyone loved the book, but what made the meeting interesting was the one person who did not enjoy it. I know how if feels to be the only one who didn’t like a very popular book! Overall the group give this book 4.5/5 pepperonis. Here is what they have to say:

We recently read the book “The Lost Hero”. This is a continuation of the Percy Jackson series. If you’ve ever read the Percy Jackson series and you’ve loved them, get ready to get hooked on this book! With new heroes to know about and new talents to learn about, this book is the perfect thing to quench your thirst for adventure! I’ve got one thing to say READ THIS BOOK!!!!!  ˜Hannah

If you like mythology and adventure this is the book for you!  I stayed in my room for hours because I could not put it down.  ˜Tori

I am speechless, I cannot say words. This book is amazing!  ˜Maria

It’s awesome!  ˜Spencer

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 ˜Colin

I love this book. I can’t put it down. I would suggest reading the Percy Jackson series before this book.  ˜Meredith (BTW, Meredith seriously cannot put the book down. She is reading it for the THIRD time.)

Read the next book!  ˜Dell

There you have it folk, Rick Riordan does it again! What are the Pizza Pagers reading next? Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin. Copies are still available at the Reference Desk.

˜Megan

Mondays with Megan: The Crepe Makers’ Bond by Julie Crabtree Review

I don’t know about you, but I had a busy and interesting weekend. I tried a new restaurant (mmmm pretzel covered pickle chips) and I got a new dog! I adopted her from the APL. Her name is Lexi and she is a 7-year-old German Shepard mix. We are still getting to know each other, but so far things are great. One of the best parts about having a dog (for me at least) is the need for a schedule. I cannot believe how much stuff I got done (and read) on Sunday all because the dog needed to go out at 7am.

In the spirit of “new things” I have designated this week Advanced Reader Copy(ARC) Week. The first ARC (which I actually read last week) is The Crepe Maker’s Bond by Julie Crabtree.

The Crepe Makers’ Bond by Julie Crabtree
Milkweed Editions, April 2011
Provided for review by netGally.com

SUMMARY:  As an aspiring chef Ariel finds comfort in the kitchen when times are tough and lately she has been spending a lot of time cooking away her frustrations. It’s the last year of middle school and instead of enjoying it she and her two best friends seem to be drifting apart. Nicki is keeping a secret and Mattie’s mom is planning to move away. The inseparable trio quickly concoct a plan to keep Mattie in town until the end of the school year. Surprisingly all the parents agree to let Mattie move in with Ariel. However, what starts out as a dream come true quickly turns in to a nightmare that threatens to destroy the girls’ friendship.

REVIEW: First of all, reading this book made me HUNGRY! It is jam-packed with mouth-watering and cleverly named recipes (Achy Breaky Artichoke Hearts Dip and Crepes of Wrath are my favorites). The three best friends are realistic middle schoolers and reading about them reminded me of my own two best friends from 8th grade. Crabtree does a nice job addressing issues that most young teens face-friendship, divorce, grades, appearance, and social status. The story is cute and fast-paced, the characters are easy to relate to, and the recipes will have you running to the kitchen to cook. I would recommend this book to foodies and middle grade girls looking for a fun story about friendship.

I haven’t decided yet what the next ARC will be, I have to go through my TBR pile tonight. I’ll keep you posted!

Also, stay tuned for a review of The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan from the Rocky River Teen Pizza Pagers.

All this food talk is making me hungry. I am off to find a snack. Happy reading!

˜Megan

Mondays with Megan: Non-Creepy Author Stalking, aka My New Hobby

Hi all! I think it is finally time to tell you about my new hobby-attending author visits (and starting a personal collection of signed books). I have been to a few author discussions and book signings over the past few months and have had so much fun. I have also acquired signed books for library prizes (it’s never too early to think about summer reading….) So, if you hear of a YA author visit let me know! It all started with the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour. I had some time off so I drove to Cincinnati to see Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Jeri Smith-Ready, and Jennifer Lynn Barnes. They were a lively panel, despite being at the end of a long tour. The highlight of the trip: Alyson Noel told me I had cool hair. Yay!

The next author I saw was Michael Grant. Stacey (see what she had to say here) and I had a much shorter trip to the east side where we met him at Joseph-Beth. I was so surprised that there were only two other people there, but it ended up being a great thing. The four of us pulled up chairs and had an interesting little chat with the hilarious and talented Mr. Grant (Gone, Hunger, Lies, The Magnificent 12). He talked a lot about how he writes and what he has planned for the rest of the series. He mentioned that there was talk about a TV show based on his books, and he gave great advice to the young writer in attendance.

Most recently, Stacey and I once again set off on an author related road trip. This time we headed to Novi, Michigan to see Scott Westerfeld. Scott is the author of one of my favorite YA series, The Uglies, but this tour was to promote the second book in his new steampunk series. Behemoth, the sequel to Leviathan, hit the shelves in October. He talked about how a Japanese copy of Uglies  inspired him to write an illustrated novel. He talked about the history of illustrated novels for adults and how technology (photography) ruined books with pictures. After that he took questions from the audience-there were tons-and then he signed books. The highlight (besides the hilarious and educational talk)? He signed every book in the Uglies box set (not just the box itself, which was all I was asking for) and then thanked us for being librarians *girlish squeal and happy dance*. Sigh.

I don’t know who I will get to see next, but I hope to get another trip in soon. In the meantime, I still have some books by the authors I have seen to finish. You should check some out too!

˜Megan