Monthly Archives: March 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring Fever! Books I Want to Play Hooky With

First, I would like to thank everyone who commented on my post yesterday. By popular vote my next book will be The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness and as soon as I finish Y: Last Man by Brian Vaughan I will be starting The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. Now, on to Top Ten Tuesday.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the bloggers at The Broke and The Bookish. They do a great job of coming up with fun weekly topics for our lists. This week we are thinking spring fever and playing hooky and the books that we would want with. My list is a mixed bag of books that will be coming out in the spring (and will most certainly tempt me into playing hooky) and books I have been meaning to read (and should really just take a day off and give them the attention they deserve).

1. Black Heart by Holly Black. I have already stated that I am not pleased with the cover change, but I am 100% certain that I am going to love being back in Cassel’s world. I should look at the time off calendar now because this one comes out next week! If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and read White Cat and Red Glove.

2. Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I may have to play birthday hooky with the sequel to Divergent. This one is out May 1 and I can’t wait!

3. The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan. The third book in the Kane Chronicles series also comes out on May 1, so I am definitely going to need some time off that week to enjoy all my new books!

4. Timepiece by Myra McEntire. The sequel to Hourglass is due out in June and I will definitely be devouring it in one sitting. The perfect book to kick of summer reading.

5. Flock by Wendy Delsol. The sequel to Stork and Frost isn’t due out until September, but I may be fortunate enough to get a sneak peek. Fingers crossed. There is no cover art yet, so you’ll have to use your imagination. In the meantime, enjoy the covers of the first two.

6. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins. I am patiently waiting my turn for the last book in the Hex Hall trilogy.

7. The Emperor of Nihon-Ja and Ranger’s Apprentice: Lost Stories by John Flanagan. I feel like I have been rushing through books lately and I don’t want to speed read the final books in the Ranger’s Apprentice series. I love this series and I don’t ever want it to end. I think I will have to take a day off to read, enjoy, and then say good-bye to Will, Halt, Horace and little Tug. The good news is I have The Brotherband Chronicles to look forward to.


8. Across the Universe by Beth Revis. I seriously need read this. I own it. It wants me to read it. I will, I promise!

9. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin. I am going to have to read this book soon just so that I can stop putting it on a TTT list every week. This book is a monster. I imagine myself on a patio with a fancy coffee treat and this book.

10. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride. This is another one I have been meaning to read. Maybe a day off would help out?

Ok, the reading list is planned, now let’s go look at the calendar and pick some days off. What books are you playing hooky with?

Happy Reading!


Mondays With Megan-A Long Weekend, Ukranian Eggs and What I am Reading

I confess, I feel like a bit of a slacker of late. After a rare mid-week day off to attend a preview of The Hunger Games movie (I had a great time and enjoyed the movie very much) and a three-day weekend, it’s time to get back into the swing of things! I certainly kept busy on my days off-a Rocky-style morning in the park (you know, me, the dog, a hill, triumphantly running up and down…), a visit to the aquarium, dinner with friends, a sleepover with my nephews, glow-in-the-dark mini-golf, and the second annual Ukrainian egg decorating extravaganza! I even managed to squeeze in some reading. First some pictures of my eggs. I moved up to the intermediate class this year (which basically meant I was given my supplies and told to make art. Instructions were reserved for the newbies. Dinner was served once we had all made an egg).

I made these last year:

These are the new ones:

So those are my pretties. On to the books. I am joining Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

This week I finished The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart. The third Ruby Oliver book was as clever and charming as the first two and I am looking forward to the final book in the series.

I continue to plug away at The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman graphic novel series. I only have two left. What am I going to read after that?!? I am also half way through Y: The Last Man series by fellow Cleveland native Brian Vaughan. This too is another fantastic series. I am taking suggestions for new series to start.

In my car: I am going to finish Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley in the next few day. It’s really funny and Anne Heche is a wonderful narrator. I highly recommend this to fans of political satire. I am thinking about moving on to Okay For Now by Gary Schmidt.

The book I need to finish in the next two days because I can’t renew it any more: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. The first book in The Shades of London series is so much fun that I won’t have any problem finishing it up this week.

I have two ARCs that I am working on, not very successfully I might add. A Woman of Consequence by Anna Dean and Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. Seriously. It’s now embarrassing that I haven’t finished. Especially since I have Grave Mercy By Robin LaFevers next in my queue. Sigh.

Once I finish The Name of the Star I will have a choice to make. Here is a glimpse of my TBR pile. I am open to suggestions.

Help! That’s only a fraction of the books at home just waiting for my attention. Does one of these stand out as a MUST READ NOW book?

Happy Reading!




BZRK by Michael Grant Review

I am a huge fan of Michael Grant. I love his Gone series and had high hopes for the first book in his newest series, BZRK. I was not disappointed.

Before I even cracked the spine, my very first thought was “Oh, thank God he finally got a decent cover for a book!” I’m sorry, but despite the deep and undying love I feel for Gone, the covers are total stinkers. But, this is not about Gone….

BZRK by Michael Grant
EgmontUSA, February, 2012

Set in a not-so-distant future, two factions are playing a dangerous and deadly game with nanotechnology and humanity’s free will. On the one side is a group founded and funded by the Armstrong Twins. The wealthy conjoined twins are fanatical about their organization, Nexus Humanus. They are attempting to use nanotechnology to change the way world leaders think about the human condition. Their goal is to form a world united, with one way of thinking. On the other side is a covert splinter cell of teenaged hackers using new biological nanotechnology. They call themselves BZRK. They have one goal: preventing the destruction of free will. The stage has been set, the nanos and biots have been released, and the battle, unseen by the naked eye, is about to begin.

Fasten your seatbelts my friends because you are in for one heck of a wild ride! The story unfolds, mysterious layer by mysterious layer, introducing character after character until everything comes crashing together for an exhilarating finale. If you have read the Gone series, you know that Michael Grant loves to pack his stories full of characters and BZRK is no different. The plot is intricate and complex and at times you really have no idea which side has the good guys and which has the bad guys. The descriptions of the nanotechnology are vivid and disturbing, often bordering on grotesque. In fact, at one point during my reading I swear to you my skin started itching because of what I was reading. Creepy, violent, and engrossing, BZRK is a thrill ride you won’t want to end. And darn it all, it ended…for now.

You may also enjoy Gone by Michael Grant, Feed by M.T. Anderson, and iBoy by Kevin Brooks.

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday-Spring Reading!

Spring has sprung, which means warm weather, flowers in bloom, baseball, and new books! The Broke and the Bookish are asking what books are on our To Read Lists this spring. Easy peasy!

1. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins. Book three in the Hex Hall series is here and I must have it!  March 13

2. Black Heart by Holly Black. The third book in The Curse Workers series is due out April 3. I am not a huge fan of the cover redesigns (I think the second cover looks too girly), but I am desperate for more of Cassel.


3. Grave Mercy R.L. LaFevers. The first book in the His Fair Assassin Trilogy comes out April 3. Historical fiction, supernatural, intrigue, and a feisty female assassin? Nice.

4. Thou Shalt Not Road Trip by Antony John. I loved Five Flavors of Dumb and have high hopes for this new offering. It comes out April 12.

5. The Selection by Kiera Cass. I am bit nervous about this one. The concept is intriguing and the cover is lovely, but the reviews are mixed. I will find out for myself when this comes out April 24.

6. Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Do I need to explain this one? Is it May 1st yet? Seriously? Hurry hurry hurry.

7. The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi. This companion novel to Ship Breaker comes out May 1. I can’t wait to get back into that world and hopefully see some familiar characters.

8. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. Despite my annoyance over the whole series stretch here and the fact that covers are getting worse, I am nonetheless hooked.  Book five in The Mortal Instruments series comes out May

I am sure there are plenty more amazing new books coming out this spring that I will need to read, but I am rounding out my list with a couple that I have been putting off.

9. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin. Book 2 in the A Song of Ice and Fire series has been taunting me for months. I think a nice latte and some warm weather and a trip to a park are exactly what I need to get back into this complicated series.

10. The Emperor of Nihon-Ja by John Flanagan. The final book in The Ranger’s Apprentice series has been sitting on my nightstand for weeks, but when I finish it, the series will be over. I don’t want it to be over. Then again, once I finish, I can start The Brotherband Chronicles!

What are you looking forward to reading this spring?

Happy Reading!


Mondays with Megan, In which I report on the books I have recently devoured.

I hate to jinx myself here, but I have got to say that I have been on a roll with books lately. It seems like everything I pick up is amazing. I really need to stop slacking and write some reviews. I also have to get a post up about the awesome Skype interview my book club had with the wonder Antony John, author of one of my favorite books, Five Flavors of Dumb and the up-coming Thou Shalt Not Road Trip. But, that will have to wait for another day.

Before I jump into What Are You Reading? I would like to remind all you Rocky River folks that tomorrow is my Hunger Games Party. We’ll get started at 3:30, so stop in after school for games, trivia, and prizes. I think I have some good prizes, including a pair of VIP passes to the Crocker Park pre-release party happening Wednesday! Program promo over, on to the books.

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Journey. A children’s/teen version is found over at Teacher Mentor Texts.

First of all, I devoured two books last week. Could not put them down.


In my car: Sadly, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly came to end. I have totally switched gears and opted for an adult book this time around. In fact, this book comes recommended to me by a patron. I am very much enjoying Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley.

A president with no desire to run for a second term nominates a TV court judge to the Supreme Court. Ha!

At work: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. I have been meaning to read this book for ages. Well, Jack the Ripper, you are up! I am keeping my trend of reading ghost stories at work alive. I’ll save the not so spooky stuff for home!

At home: I am fortunate to have an advanced copy of Anna Dean’s newest Dido Kent mystery, A Woman of Consequence. Victorian mystery and romance-yay! I am sure the US cover will be different when it comes out in April, but this is the only one I could find.

The book I really wish I could finish: Wanderlove by Kristin Hubbard. I swear, it’s a great book. I am half way through and I am very much enjoying it. I just keep getting interrupted. I feel bad for it.

The book that will get me to drop everything: Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins. I really need the third Hex Hall book. Now. Please. Not that I want the series to be over, but I really need to know what happens!

So, what are you reading this week?

Happy Reading!



Top Ten Tuesday-Top Ten Teen Mysteries

It’s another list making day! I’ve got a new Top Ten Tuesday list for you. This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. The week we’re sharing our favorite books in a particular genre. I chose teen mysteries, mostly because I feel like they are the most neglected of YA genres. At least that is the case at my library, so I am always looking for ways to show them a little love!

1. The Agency Series by Y.S. Lee is a fun Victorian-era mystery series starring a feisty female sleuth. A Spy in the House is the first book, The Body at the Tower is the second, and most recently we got The Traitor in the Tunnel. I read it yet, but hopefully it will be my turn soon.

2.The Final Four series by John Feinstein stars budding sports writers Steve and Sadie. The series starts with Last Shot and continues with Vanishing Act, Cover-Up, Change-Up, and The Rivalry.

3.  Forensic Mysteries by Alane Ferguson. This series stars the 17-year old daughter of the Colorado County coroner. Start with The Angel of Death and you’ll definitely want to move on the The Christopher Killer, The Circle of Death, and The Dying Breath.

4. Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore may be more a ghost story than a mystery, but am totally counting it! There is a Scooby-doo-esque quality about it that I very much love.

5. All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab is a good old whodunit. Secrets and lies lead to murder, but who did it? Dun, dun, dun.

6. The Stone Child by Dan Poblocki is a spooky suspenseful book about the monsters from a novel coming to life. I couldn’t read this one at night!

7. Clarity by Kim Harrington is a murder mystery with a psychic twist. I am looking forward to reading the sequel, Perception.

8. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting is another fun supernatural mystery. I will confess that I was disappointed in the sequel, Desires of the Dead, but the first one was fantastic.

9. Rosebush by Michelle Jaffe is a real page-turner! You can’t trust anybody and everyone is suspicious.






Mondays With Megan, in which I am victorious over my cold and have many books to report

Happy Monday! Much of last week is a blur, as I was out with a cold. I am huge baby when I am sick and have a tendency towards melodrama…but that is beside the point. I finally kicked it over that weekend and feel great! I didn’t get as much reading in as I would have liked, but I do have plenty to report in today’s It’s Monday! What are You Reading?, hosted by Book Journey. A children/YA version is found at Teach Mentor Text.

In my car: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. What started out slow for me now has me on the edge of my seat! I need to know how this all ends. Like, now. I have three discs left so I may have to pick a new car book before the week is over. I am open to suggestions. I am currently enjoying stand-alones and I will listen to either adult or YA. Suggest away, please!

Finished last week: Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz. Book five in the Spellmans series was a great addition to the series, but after the way things ended I am going to have to demand more of the story. Please.

My graphic novel: American Vampire, vol. 3 by Scott Snyder. This installment is set during WWII and features yet another breed of vampires. Super creepy. Daylight hours reading only.

The book that has taken over my life: BZRK by Michael Grant. Regular readers may recall that I am a teeny tiny bit *ahem* obsessed *ahem* with Michael Grant. It’s hard not to be; he is brilliant. Anyway, his new series reveals a new layer of twisted genius. It’s confusing and disturbing and oh so good. It’s taken over. I am not even going to bother resizing that image!

The ARC I neglected last week, but promise to read this week: Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard.  Of course, it’s release date is tomorrow, so it won’t be an arc anymore!

The Book that I NEED tomorrow, but sort of hope I don’t get because I am in the middle of BZRK and my head will explode with that much greatness available to me: Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter. It comes out tomorrow! Is it the final Gallagher Girls? I think it is.

In addition to all my reading I started watching season 1 of Friday Night Lights and I am hooked. In fact, I watched that instead of The Walking Dead last night! I do love my DVR. What are you reading?

Happy Reading!




Top Ten Tuesday-Favorite Covers

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday, my favorite weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is all about what’s on the outside-covers! I am pleased to report that all of my favorite covers have amazing stories behind them as well. It was impossible to pick just ten, so I will throw some extras in today. Surprise, surprise. I know. In no particular order, here are a bunch of YA covers that I love. Oh wait, an observation: I am not particularly draw to covers with flowy, flowy gowns and flowy, flowy hair. Give me something original to look at, please. Ok, now the covers.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. Totally Bada**. Love.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly. You really need to hold it in your hands to truly appreciate the intricate details. It’s gorgeous. I should own it.

The Replacement by Brenna Yanoff. Again, a good close-up look is needed to appreciate this one. Super creepy cover for a strange and creepy book.

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern.  This charming and adorable cover is perfect. The new one, not so much.

Divergent by Veronica Roth.  I love a great gender-neutral cover. The cover brings to mind the mockingjay on The Hunger Games cover, and this is a perfect readalike. So it’s win-win-win!

Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I thing the cover says it all!

Shine by Lauren Myracle.  This gorgeous cover hides a whole bunch of ugly. The story is heart-wrenching, but amazing.

Hourglass by Myra McEntire. Ok, you caught me. Flowy hair, flowy dress. It’s lovely and the book is a heck of a lot of fun.

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce.  Just look at this one! It’s like one of those visual trick things. What are they called? Do you see an old woman or a chalice? You know what I mean, right? So anyway. The sisters in red and black or the wolf with the red eyes? There is so much to look at!

Ruby Red by Kerstin Geir. I didn’t mean to put my “Reds” together, but oh well. I love this gorgeous cover.

That’s my official ten, but here are some runners-up:



No rhyme or reason here. I like gears. And pretty pretty pink things. Interesting.

Happy Reading!




Mondays with Megan and It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

I’m back! I missed last Monday because I took a lovely day off, but now it’s back to business as usual. Time to check in with Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for another edition of It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

A quick recap from the week that I was off: it was graphic novels galore! I finished the Cirque du Freak manga series by Darren Shan, I read vol. 8-10 of The Walking Dead series by Robert Kirkman, and I read Level Up by Gene Luen Yang. I also finished Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender-a great creepy read-and Bleeding Hearts by Ian Rankin. Moving along to this week.

In my car: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. I struggled to get into this mostly because I know absolutely nothing about music and the French Revolution, but now I am hooked! Also, I am told there will be time travel. Yes, please!

Walking the dog: Fast Women by Jennifer Cruise. Not a YA book, the back of the Playaway says this: “A hilarious, sizzling novel of romance, blackmail, and murder.” Sounds a little Stephanie Plum-esque. This should be fun!











Indentity Crisis! Am I the Messenger or Number Four?

Time for some quick reviews! I recently finished two books with I am in the title and now I will review them both.

First up: I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (a pseudonym for authors James Frey and Jobie Hughes)

Teen John Smith and his “father” Henri have lived a life on the run. John and Henri are two of a handful of  surviving members of the alien race of Loriens. Their planet was attacked and destroyed by the Mogodorians. In the midst of the chaos nine children and their guardians managed to escape. They reached Earth and scattered, secure in the knowledge that they could only be killed in a certain order. Three are dead and John is number four. When they learn of the demise of number three, the pair pack up and hit the road, settling in Paradise, Ohio. John longs for a normal high school experience, complete with a girlfriend, but it’s hard to be normal when killer aliens are after you.

I have been putting this book off for a while, but I needed to read it before I showed the movie at the library. Yes, I am a book snob that way. I need to read the book before I see the movie. Interestingly enough, I am not a book-to-movie snob. I try really hard not to compare the two things. But I digress…

I am kind of conflicted over this one. On the one hand there are gaping holes in the plot (which kind of moves at a snail’s pace for a good portion of the book). On the other hand, it’s about aliens! With superpowers! It’s about a kid who just wants to fit in and a father-type guy who just wants to protect his kid. It’s about secrets, and loyalty, and falling in love. In the end, despite it’s flaws, I bought in and want to know what happens next. I also have to admit that while I was reading it, I couldn’t help but think of how I would feel if I was one of those alien kids who grew up here but had the enormous responsibility of restoring a planet I could barely remember. I wonder if I would even want to go back? Anyway. In short, no literary gem here, but an interesting read.

Other alien reads include Stuck on Earth by David Klass and The Host by Stephenie Meyer (which was also a slow start, but ended up being pretty awesome).

Next: I am Number Four by Markus Zusak

Ed Kennedy is a nineteen-year-old Australian cab driving who lives with a smelly old dog, pines away for his best friend, Audrey, and loves to play cards. He’s an ordinary guy, going nowhere fast, until the day he foils a bank robbery. His glory is short-lived, but shortly after the would-be robber is sentenced, Ed receives an ace of clubs with three addresses written on it. And so begins Ed’s new adventure. Once he visits each address he realizes he is supposed to do something for each person on the list. When he does, more cards and clues arrive, each with a new challenge. The biggest challenge of all, however, is for Ed to decide who he wants to be.

I listened to this one and despite my sister’s warning to not announce this, I am going to admit that it was like having Jesse Spencer drive around with me telling me a story. Kind of awesome.

I really enjoyed this book, and yet I am having a difficult time finding the words to explain why. I liked Ed and his smelly old coffee drinking dog. I liked that Ed was totally game when bizarre things started happening. I liked that the messages were so simple and beautiful. I liked Ed’s damaged and flawed friends. I loved the person Ed becomes. And the writing? It is rich and unsentimental and at times brutal, but every word is important. I wanted them all and more. What I love most about this book is how it made me feel. I felt good listening to this book. And I do enjoy an unlikely hero with a humorous inner monologue!

This book tackles some mature issues, including drinking, sex, and domestic violence, so I recommend it with caution. But recommend it, I do! Give this one to fans of John Green. Read alikes include It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini and How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Staniford.

Happy Reading!