Monthly Archives: March 2013

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

nantucket blue

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
Disney Hyperion
May 7, 2013
304 pgs

Cricket Thompson knows that this summer is going to be epic. She has been invited to spend the summer in Nantucket with her best friend Jules and the rest of the Clayton family. In addition to beach parties and sunbathing, she is confident that this will be the summer that her long-time crush, Jay Logan, finally notices her. Unfortunately, all her plans go up in smoke when tragedy strikes. Her invitation is revoked and she faces a summer trapped bouncing between her depressed mother and newly remarried father. Taking matters into her own hands, she heads to Nantucket alone to offer her support to the Claytons. Nothing goes according to plan, but Cricket manages to have an unexpectedly epic summer in spite of everything.

This touching debut novel is the perfect summer read. I loved Cricket and her devotion to Jules and their friendship, even at a time when Jules could not reciprocate. Readers may be eager to criticize either or both of these characters over their treatment of each other, but I have actually been in both situations and have to say that they are both completely realistic and believable. The romance was a bit of a surprise (though admittedly I have hoped for it) and provided an interesting plot twist. The forbidden guy was sweet and funny and the issue of sex was well handled. I enjoyed all of the little side stories and each one plays a role in shaping Cricket into the person she was both when she arrives in Nantucket and who she is at the end of the summer. There is plenty of conflict to sink your teeth into, but the moments of pure joy will warm you heart. I will definitely be watching for more from this author.

You may also enjoy The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, and My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Happy Reading!


I Just Signed Up For the April Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon! Did You?


Oh, happy day! It’s time to start planning the Read-a-Thon! My pal Stacey and I are once again joining in all the festivities and I think you should too. The first step is so easy. Just visit Dewey’s Read-a-Thon page and add your name to the list. Then, if you are like me, you’ll start making a list of all the books that you want on hand for the big day. I actually started my list ages ago. I am a nerd that way. You’ll also want to start squirreling books away and start thinking of all the snacks you will have. Ok, the snacks part may be jumping the gun a bit. But trust me, they are so important at 3 a.m. on Read-a-Thon day!

Here’s a little sneak peek at my list of books that I plan to bring to the table (and couch, and coffee shop…) on April 27th:

  • Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty
  • Stephanie Plum #? by Janet Evanovich. I am currently finished with 13.
  • Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman
  • Magnificent 12 #2 by Michael Grant
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  • The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
  • Elementals by Antony John
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  • Demonata by Darren Shan
  • Game by Barry Lyga-comes out April 16th! Perfect timing!
  • A Mystery? Suggestions?
  • Graphic Novels-good for padding numbers!

This list will no doubt change and grow over the next month, but it’s a good start. The trick is to pick short, fast-paced books. So, are you in?

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday: The Books I Recommend Most


Today’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, was so easy! Really the hardest part was narrowing the list to ten-ish. You know how I don’t like to be limited to ten.

1. The Gallagher Girls & Heist Society series by Ally Carter. Easily the most recommended books ever. Why? First of all, they are just so much fun. Awesome female characters, super-spy action, and just a hint of good clean romance (because the romance is not the point. Girls kicking butt and being awesome is the point). I have no problem handing these books to a fifth grader or a high school reader.

i'd tell you heistsociety

2. Gone series by Michael Grant. The opposite of the above. Gruesome, terrify, brilliant horror. This series is not for everyone, but I give it to anyone looking to be freaked out. The U.S. covers do not help this series at all, but it is a g0-to series for me.


3. The Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan. I love this series. It’s another one that is great for both younger and older readers. Great characters and plenty of action. I like giving this one to reluctant readers because the first volume is pretty slim. Very clever. Get them hooked and then write bigger books!


4. Uglies and Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. I recommend both of these series all the time! I love that Uglies is a fast-paced and exciting read that lends itself to a lot of thoughtful discussion. The Leviathan trilogy is so unique and the awesome illustrations make it an easy sell.

uglies leviathan

5. The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey. So, you are finished with Twilight and need a vampire fix? Please do yourself a favor and read about the Drakes. This stuff is so much better than Bella and Edward!


6. Hourglass by Myra McEntire and Ruby Red by Kiersten Gier. I have been on a time travel kick for a while now, so these two series get recommended a lot!

hourglass ruby red

7. Blood Red Road by Moira Young. It’s what you read after The Hunger Games!

blood red road

8. White Cat by Holly Black. It saddens me that I have to sell this one. It seems to just sit on the shelf unless I put it in someone’s hand. It’s so gritty and awesome. It’s the mob on magic, with a great male POV. I push this one every chance I get.

white cat

9. Cinder by Marissa Meyer. This is a newer addition to my most recommended repertoire, and I LOVE it!


10. Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer. I cannot get enough of Jacky Faber and I really wish everyone would love her.

bloody jack

A few of my most recommended non-YA titles:

ready spellmans 112263 henrietta sweetness blood oath garden spells rook

I could recommend books like it was my job. Oh, wait. It is my job! Lucky me. Well, part of it at least. One of the best parts, actually! But, that’s enough for one list.

Happy Reading!


Mondays With Megan-Spring Cleaning!

I have a love-hate relationship with I love that I can keep track of all the books I have read and want to read. I love that I see what other people are reading. I hate that it keeps telling me I am behind on my 2013 reading goals. I am also not thrilled with my enormous to-read list. Let’s face it, chances are pretty slim that I am not going to read all of the 214 items that are currently on the list. It’s time for some spring cleaning. I thing that anything added to the to-read list before 2011 can be removed. *UPDATE* Well, that did not go well. I removed four books. Time to reassess. I would like to whittle the list down to 200. It’s a totally arbitrary number, I know. But 200 is prettier than 211. Off I go. *UPDATE #2* Ok, this time I was ruthless, but my to-read shelf is a measly 190 books long! Please don’t ask me to explain what kind of sense this makes.

A sampling of what didn’t make the cut:
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, Ninth Grade Slays by Heather Brewer, Dead to You by Lisa McMann, and Ten Things We Did by Sarah Mylnowski are just a few that have been removed from the list. Any strong arguments for putting them back?

What was saved?
Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman has been on the list since 2009. I am planning to read it during this year’s Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon. If I don’ t read it in April, it’s off the list. The most recent addition is The Well’s Bequest by Polly Shulman. It is supposedly a companion to The Grimm Legacy, which was so cute.

I also made some progress on my currently-reading shelf. Time to check in with Book Journey and Teach Mentor Text for It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

mondayreadingMon Reading Button PB to YA


poison jellicoe road delphine nantucket bluefrom bad to cursed

I really enjoyed Poison by Bridget Zinn and I finally get it when it comes to Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I am so happy I decided to move that one from its dusty spot on the to-read list! I didn’t particularly enjoy Delphine by Richard Sala. The story was weird, but the illustrations were interesting. Finally, I got a little summery-romance fix with Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland. Look for a review later this week. Continuing my efforts to finish series that I have started and neglected, I finally picked up and flew through the second book in the Bad Girls Don’t Die trilogy, From Bad to Cursed by Katie Alender. I can’t wait to get to the final book!

Current Audio:

mr. penumbraI am enjoying Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. It’s a bizarre combo of dusty old books and crazy technology. There’s a secret society and a modern-day quest.

Currently Reading:

clockwork princess ashfall little women lost stories insomnia

I got Clockwork Princess last Thursday, but I let it sit unread until Sunday. I am torn between wanting to dive right and devour it and wanting to linger and savor it. So far linger and savor is winning. Speaking of linger, I continue to enjoy both Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and The Lost Stories by John Flanagan a few pages/chapters at a time. I have Ashfall by Mike Mullin on the Nook for elliptical time, and I just downloaded a new e-galley, Insomnia by J.R. Johansson. I have plenty to keep me busy this week!

Happy Reading!


Poison by Bridget Zinn Review


Poison by Bridget Zinn
Disney Hyperion
March 12, 2013
288 pgs

Sixteen-year-old Kyra is a potions master, a would-be assassin, and a fugitive. She had to abandon her practice and flee after her failed attempt to kill her best friend, Princess Ariana. She’s not crazy, she had to do it for the good of the kingdom. Now, the king’s army is hot on her trail and the fate of the kingdom rests on Kyra’s ability to locate the princess and finish what she started. With nothing but a pack full of potions and poisons and a tiny tracking pig, she sets out in search of her target. Along the way she meets Fred, a happy-go-lucky adventurer and his dog, Langley. The rag-tag band of travelers encounter goblins and a wicked witch before Kyra can ditch Fred and get down to business. But Fred has an uncanny ability to reappear and the most opportune moments and Kyra can’t help but start to like him. But they both have secrets that threaten any chance that they have of being together. And there is still a princess to find and kill.

This debut novel, published two years after the author’s death, is a quick, fun read. I really enjoyed the way the story unfolded in a non-linear way, slowly revealing bits and pieces and the secrets revealed at the end were such a treat. The poisons and potions are quite intriguing and I found myself wishing for some of Kyra’s handiwork (the fun, harmless potions of course!). Readers will be charmed by the cast of characters: Kyra is a woman on a mission, Fred is a goof-ball, Ari is about as anti-princess as they come and Rosie is a real cutie. A delightful blend of humor, adventure, and magic, Poison is a winner.

You may also enjoy The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman and A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn

This book was provided by the publisher and for review.

Happy Reading!




Top Ten Tuesday-Books I Just Had to Buy, But Still Haven’t Read


I consider it an occupational hazard: the burning need to purchase books. The worst part about the need to buy all the books all the time is that you simply cannot read them all. And so they keep very good company on one of many bookshelves and book piles. It happens to the best of books. It can’t be helped. Here is a little peak at my stack of shame. Someday I will read them. I promise. I hope.

1. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. Why have I not read this?!?

grave mercy

2. Across the Universe by Beth Reevis. Now that the series is complete I should get on it.

across the universe

3. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. I bought this one in the hopes of finally moving it from TBR to Read. I was not meant to read this book. I tried, but it was not for me. I still have a copy, but I officially removed it from my TBR list. I feel such immense relief about it.

enders game

4. Jessica Darling, books 1-4 by Megan McCafferty. I have read the first book! One down, three to go (well, technically four, but I don’t own the fifth book…yet).

sloppy firsts

5. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. This is kind of cheating, because I am listening to this book right now! How sad is it that I own a copy of the book and I chose to listen instead? Whatever. I don’t even care. I am glad I own the book. It’s wonderful and maybe I will read it one of these days. Or give it to a friend. Or not. Hmmph.

jellicoe road

6. The Outcasts, The Brotherband Chronicles #1 by John Flanagan. I bought this at an author event ages ago. I am not allowed to read it yet. Not until I am done with The Ranger’s Apprentice. Soon. Very soon.


7. The Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne. Another author visit purchase. I have the whole series (to date). I will get to them eventually.


8. Claim to Fame by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Oh my god. I am the worst! This is yet another author visit purchase. What is wrong with me?

claim to fame

9. The Little House on the Prairie box set. I don’t feel bad about this one. I must own these books. Always.

little house

In a Top Ten Tuesday first, I am ending my list short. I know there are more books that would fit this list, but I am away from my incriminating shelves and drawing a blank on titles. I think this is enough. In fact, I am currently reading a book that has been languishing for years…Little Women!

Happy Reading!



Mondays With Megan on a Mental Health Day

Hi All! I am enjoying a random day off, and after my busy weekend I totally need it. I thought I would spend the day catching up on some reading (Goodreads tells me I am 5 books behind schedule. Curse you Goodreads.), but instead I am catching up on some Parks and Recreation episodes. I have decided that readathons are for catching up on reading. Mental health days are for sit-com marathons. Ok, time for a quick check in with my favorite Monday hosts, Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Trust me, this will be brief.

mondayreading Mon Reading Button PB to YA


  supremes adortation

I really enjoyed The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore. It is charming, touching, and quite hilarious. I also reread The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson for my teen book club. This is a great book club selection-it’s full of great discussion issues. And that is it. Two measly, but great, book. Of course I am so close to finishing a couple of others…

Almost Finished:

poison jellicoe road

I totally slacked on the elliptical last week, so I am not quite finished with Poison by Bridget Zinn, but I am motivated to be better this week. I have a disc and a half left of Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I am sold. I was skeptical at first, but I got sucked in.

Slowly But Surely:

little women lost stories

On Deck:

clockwork princess mind games shadow of the blackbirds

That’s all. Back to my marathon.

Happy Reading!