Tag Archives: Maureen Johnson

Top Ten Tuesday-Best Books of 2015 (So Far!) 6/30/15


Why should December have all the fun with all the “Best of the Year” list? This week The Broke and the Bookish are talking about a mid-year Best of 2015 list! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about our favorites so far. I did a quick review of my Goodreads lists and learned that I have read or listened to 120 books so far this year-34 YA, 27 Non-YA, 14 Nonfiction, and 45 Graphic Novels. I am surprised by all of this except the graphic novels number. I love them and I tend to gravitate towards them when I find myself in a reading slump. Also, I now order for two collections, teen and adult, so I am trying to familiarize myself more with the adult collection. The real shocker was how I struggled to come up with 10 favorite YA books of the year. What’s that all about? What am I not reading that is awesome? I’ll be spending the evening looking at everyone’s lists for ideas.


1. The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige. I really like this dark and gritty Oz reimagination.

wicked will rise

2. The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. This one comes out July 7 and it is awesome! I loved the political intrigue and it is incredibly timely considering how much the Supreme Court has been in the news lately.


3. All the Rage by Courtney Summers. This one is tough to read, but so captivating. I couldn’t put it down.

all the rage

4. Mortal Heart by Robin Lafevers. The last book in His Fair Assassin trilogy does not disappoint! I wonder how long I will have to wait for another book from her?

mortal heart

5. The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson. I love the Shades of London series and book two ending with a shock. Book three took the story in a fascinating direction. I can’t wait to see how it all ends.

shadow cabinet

6. Firefight by Brandon Sanderson. I am obsessed. End of story.


7. Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee. I am a sucker for girls disguised as boys!

under a painted

8. Wild Rover No More by L.A. Meyer. Such a bittersweet ending.

wild rover

9. Last Stand of Dead Men by Derek Landy. Another series I am obsessed with. I have a true crisis now-I can’t get the last book from a library! I think I am going to have to throw down a bunch of cash and buy the entire series…

last stand

10. Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. Another exciting trilogy ender.

retribution of mara dyerHmm. Maybe my slump is due to the fact that I am wrapping up a bunch of series and don’t know what to do with myself…


pirate hunters alex rat queens missoula lock in one plus one bingo's run how to start a fire she got up one kick

Happy Reading!


Mondays with Megan-Spring Fever! 3/16/15

Greetings! It’s a gloriously warm day here in Northeast Ohio and all I can think about is sitting on a patio with a book…that day will come eventually. My big exciting news this week is that I *finally* ungraded my phone to a smart phone. It didn’t take long to fall in love with my iphone. One of my favorite features? If you guessed downloading audiobooks, you are correct. It is so easy to do and the library has tons of great titles. See our wonderful collection for yourself here. I personally have my eyes on Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. It’s been on my To Read list for ages! I think it’s time to create a wish list.

mondayreading Mon Reading Button PB to YA

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts


first frosts shadow cabinet saucer country

  • First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen-♥♥♥♥♥-Readers get to catch up with the Waverlys of Bascomb. A lot has changed for sisters Sydney and Claire since Garden Spells. Just magical and delightful.
  • The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson-♥♥♥♥♥-The third installment of the Shades of London series picks up where the cruel cliffhanger of book 2 left off. The story branches out into exciting new territory!
  • Saucer Country by Paul Cornell-♥♥♥-When the leading Democratic candidate for president (a Hispanic woman!) claims that she was abducted by aliens her trusted advisers scramble to make sense of her claim. This was an interesting blend of political intrigue and X-Files. It wasn’t my favorite, but I will certainly pick up the second volume.

Current Audio:

last anniversary stiff

  • The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty. I am working my way through her collection of work. This is her second book and came to me via Interlibrary Loan. Did you know you could do that? It’s so easy to do. You can do it yourself from our website or ask your favorite librarian to help you!
  • Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. This is my first download to my iphone!

Currently Reading: (once again I am kind of all over the place, starting and stopping books left and right)

how to start a fire undertaking of lily chen kingdom of the wicked girl with all the gifts

Sort of Reading: (aka, picking up and putting down, but still interested)

harry grave peril girl at midnight

Returned unread:


I am looking forward to another week of awesome reads!

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday-Ten Books For Fans of Supernatural-3/10/15


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is so open-ended it’s practically a freebie! The topic is the top ten books for people who like X. Solve for X. Since by current television obsession continues to be Supernatural, X=Supernatural.

dean readsDean doesn’t seem to thrilled with his book. Maybe he would prefer one of these:

1. Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. A skeleton detective, ancient gods, necromancers, and all sorts of magic.


2. The Diviners by Libba Bray. Occult murders, flappers, and a really, really creepy house.


3. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. The ghost of Jack the Ripper once again torments London.

name of the star

4. Evil Librarian by Michele Knudsen. Two words: Demon librarian.

evil librarian

5. Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore. A family of witches, occult happenings, ghosts, and mischievous goats. For the fans who enjoy the humorous side of the Winchesters!

texas gothic

6. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. The unconsecrated, the walking dead, the living dead, call them what you want, a zombie is a zombie!

forest of hands and teeth

7. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Shadowhunters/Demon hunters. Same dif.

city of bones

8. Gone by Michael Grant. All sorts of messed-up monster action going on here!


9. White Cat by Holly Black. Magic, curses, mobsters!

white cat

10. Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Angels, demons, monsters.

daughter of smoke


hush hush screaming

Happy Reading!


Waiting on Wednesday-The Shadow Cabinet-9/3/14

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.


This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

shadow cabinet

The Shadow Cabinet (Shades of London #3) by Maureen Johnson
February 10, 2015

*****SPOILERS FOR BOOKS 1 & 2*******

From Goodreads:

*** Remember, Here There Be Spoilers!***

“Grieving, shaken, and feeling very much alone, Rory’s life as a member of the Shades of London has changed irrevocably. It’s only been a matter of hours since Stephen was taken from her, possibly for ever. Her classmate Charlotte is still missing, kidnapped by the same people who tried to take Rory. Rory is no longer a schoolgirl haplessly involved in the dealings of a secret government unit. She is their weapon in a matter of life and death.

With hardly a moment to think for herself, Rory is back to work. Charlotte must be found — as must Stephen, if he is even out there. Lines must be drawn and forces rallied. Something is brewing under London, something bigger and much more dangerous than what has come before. The Shadow Cabinet holds the key to everything, and it is up to Rory to unravel its mysteries before time runs out…”

The Madness Underneath ended on crazy cliffhanger! I NEED the end of this series!

Happy Reading!


The Madness Underneath (Shades of London #2) by Maureen Johnson Review

I wrapped up 2012 with a bunch of ARCs from NetGalley.com. It’s time to start writing some reviews! In short, I got some great stuff! Up next:


The Madness Underneath (Shades of London #2) by Maureen Johnson
HarperCollins Children’s Books
February 26, 2013
352 pgs.

*Contains spoilers for Book 1*

The Madness Underneath picks up right where The Name of the Star left off. Rory, an American teen living in London, is recovering from her near-death experience at the hand of a malevolent ghost. Despite her misgivings and her parents’ protests, it is time for Rory to head back to school, face the scene of the crime, and try to get back to normal. Of course, that is easier said than done. Something about Rory’s “gift” has changed and she doesn’t know how to explain or even accept it. Her attempts to reach out to the crew of the top-secret ghost-hunting police unit are met with dead ends. That is, until a series of unexplained murders occur near the Wexford campus. It seems that ghostly occurrences have become the new norm for Rory. Nothing is easy for her as she struggles with her classes and her relationships, tries to figure out who she can trust and how to manage her new ability, and once again keep herself alive.

Buckle up, because this is another wild ride with the quirky and loveable Rory Deveaux. Rory is still her charming, witty self, but she is notably and realistically changed by her experience with The Ripper. She struggles with her abilities, her feelings, her relationships and her classes and it all threatens to break her. Her trust is betrayed and she makes bad decisions, but in the end she learns what it means to be a friend and to have true friends. Be warned, the cliffhanger ending of book one is nothing compared to the doozie of an ending we are left with in this one. Holy Moley, I did not see that coming and book 3 cannot come soon enough. Well played Ms. Johnson. Well played. I am completely hooked.

You may also like Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender, Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore, and Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake.

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books of 2013

Where does the time go? The Broke and the Bookish are asking us to look ahead to 2013! I don’t know why this is so shocking. I have been dreaming about some of these books for ages already. This was one of the easiest TTT lists to whip up in a long time. And of course, it was impossible to pick just ten books that I am excited about. So here are 13 for ’13!

1.Just One Day by Gayle Forman January 8, 2013

2. Prodigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu January 29, 2013

3. Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer February 5, 2013

4. Mind Games (Mind Games #1) by Kiersten White February 19, 2013

5. The Madness Underneath (Shades of London #2) by Maureen Johnson  February 26, 2013

6. Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare March 19, 2013

7 & 8. Light (Gone #6) by Michael Grant April 2, 2013 and BZRK #2 October 8, 2013


9. Game (Jasper Dent #2) by Barry Lyga April 23, 2013

No cover yet.

10. The Regency Witches by Alyxandra Harvey May 9, 2013

No cover yet.

11. Spirit and Dust (Goodnights #2) by Rosemary Clement-Moore May 14, 2013

12. Infinityglass (Hourglass #3) by Myra McEntire June 25, 2013

No cover yet.

13. House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus #4) by Rick Riordan October 2013

no cover yet

What are you excited to read in 2013?

Happy Reading!


Where Does The Time Go? 2012 Is Half Over and I Have Slacked on Reviews.

There is no denying it. I am a review-writing slacker! In the first six months of 2012 I have read or listened to 100 books and written reviews for only 19.

I started out strong in January and wrote six reviews. It’s been downhill since. Here are some gems that I meant to write about from the past six months the first three months of the year. See what I mean? I set out to write six mini reviews and lost steam after only three. Sigh.


Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
326 pgs

Vera Dietz lost her best friend, twice. Once when he totally betrayed her and screwed her over and again when he died. Vera and Charlie had been best friends for most of their lives. They protected each other and kept the other’s secrets until the day Charlie stopped. A few months later he dies and is accused of a horrible act, which Vera knows he didn’t do. Even after his death Vera keeps his secrets, but she sure as heck hasn’t forgiven him enough to clear his name. Vera clings to her anger, even as Charlie haunts her, begging her to forgive him.

This Prinz Award winner is haunting and heartbreaking. The characters are multidimensional and realistic. The story is suspenseful, humorous, and a tiny bit odd at times, which just adds to its charm. This is how a coping with grief story should be told-just right amount of heartache and angst, but not so much that it’s unbearable (ahem…TFIOS, I’m looking at you…).

You may also enjoy Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, and Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.


Cinder  by Marissa Meyer
390 pgs

Cinder is a cyborg mechanic living in New Beijing when she is hired by the prince to repair his robot. In accepting the job, she gets dragged into an intergalactic political scandal. She also learns the disturbing truth about her true identity and destiny.

This unique futuristic retelling of the classic Cinderella fairy tale will appeal to fans of dystopian science fiction and fairy tales alike. Secret identities, true love, an evil queen, and a deadly plague mash-up with robots and cyborgs for an exciting and fun read.

You may also like Sisters Red and Sweetly by Jackson Pearce, Beastly by Alex Flynn, and Legend by Marie Lu.


The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
372 pgs

When Rory Deveaux arrives at her London boarding school from Louisiana, she has no idea that she will soon be in the midst of Ripper Fever. London is gripped with fear as someone begins to copycat the horrific murders of Jack the Ripper. Rory becomes involved when she comes forward as the only witness to one of the murders. From there things spiral out of control and it becomes clear that there is more to this case than meets the eye.

The first book in the Shades of London series is a spooky, suspenseful thrill! A great boarding school setting, a paranormal mystery, a touch of historical fiction, and just a hint of romance make this a series that will appeal to a wide range of readers.

You may also like Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender, Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore, and Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake.

I’ll work on April, May, and June for next week. Fingers crossed.

Happy Reading!