Monday, December 30, 2013

Dangerous by Shannon Hale- Review

Maisie Danger Brown just wanted to get away from home for a bit, see something new. She never intended to fall in love. And she never imagined stumbling into a frightening plot that kills her friends and just might kill her, too. A plot that is already changing life on Earth as we know it. There's no going back. She is the only thing standing between danger and annihilation.

From NY Times bestselling author Shannon Hale comes a novel that asks, How far would you go to save the ones you love? And how far would you go to save everyone else?

I was approved to read this book through Netgalley and it's my first Shannon Hale book (I know, I'm kind of ashamed of me) and I wasn't disappointed. Right off the bat, two of my favorite aspects of this story were that Maisie is not only Hispanic, but she's missing an arm. There are a ton of posts about how there aren't enough minority protagonists, and how their aren't enough protagonist with disabilities, this book has both!

This is the second alien book I've read this year (the first was The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey), normally I avoid them like the plague because they never do it for me, I find it hard to suspend my disbelief most of the time, I had no problems with this book. I love that all of this began with Space Camp, although I will admit what I would have liked a bit more detail about the challenges there. Although Maisie isn't the type of character to let her disability slow her down, I feel like there had to have been difficulties completing the space camp challenges, but they were sort of glossed over.

The story with the aliens and the tokens were so cool, it reminded me of Captain Planet or something like that. I'll have to say that I'm on the fence about

Friday, December 27, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #2

It is hosted by TWO hosts,Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.
Question of the week: Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! What books did Santa stuff your stocking with this holiday season? Do a holiday book haul for us! If you don’t celebrate just show off your books that you got this week. Pictures!!!

This year Santa stuffed a huge electric fireplace in my stocking.

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Young Adult (YA) vs. New Adult (NA)

Not long ago a publisher friend of mine told me about a new genre called New Adult. The genre was full of books that were mostly self published and were geared toward people from about 18 to 29 (I'm not sure if those are the exact ages but you see where I'm going with this). The New Adult genre was suppose to incorporate things like college life, finding a job that would actually allow you to support yourself, standing on your own two feet and stepping into the world, and yes adult romance.

I read this article on Horn Book that compared YA and NA books. I'll let you read the article yourself but I have to say that as a 26 year old living in the "real world" there should be books geared toward my age group. At the age of 26 (there are exceptions) college life is behind you, high school is a fading memory, and life, bills, relationships, and friends, have bombarded your life and it may be hard to deal with. It's one thing to go to college and live on your own and make your own rules and experience life for what feels like the first time. However, where you're living in an apartment, that you can hardly afford and trying to figure out what bills you'll be able to pay that month, your singing a very different tune.

Teens are almost always forgotten in the library world, they are so easy to over looks because it is hard for us to understand them and remember what it was like at their age. I think the same can be said for this NA age group. I'm not married, I have never been married, I don't have kids, I don't have a house, I'm in the beginning of my career, and finances are frustrating. I want to read about characters like me. I don't want to read about a 30 something mother of two, recently divorced and experiencing a midlife crisis, because I haven't reached that point in my life yet (okay I'll read about that, but I can't relate). There is a very real difference between the life of a 17 year old high school student, the life of a 21 year old college student, the life of a 26 year old young professional,and the life of a 32 year old parent. I think literature should try to reach out and connect with all age groups.

The best quote that I can pull from the article is this one “the heart of YA is the coming-of-age story about a teen’s first step towards deciding who they are and what they want to become. The coming-of-age story in New Adult is about actually becoming that person. Or not, as the case may be.” In my opinion it says it all.

There are articles out there that don't like the term New Adult and what it may or may not signify. I must say I agree that sometimes labeling books can cause more harm than good, but in a world (library world) were books have to fall into some sort of category just so we'll know what shelf to put them on, I think it's unavoidable. Is it right to try to force everything into a label, no, is it necessary for my job, yes. I just really, truly, wholeheartedly think that it's time we think about those of us in our mid 20s. It seems that many of the books that fall under the NA category are romance but there's nothing wrong with that (and I'm not even a huge romance fan, I'm partial to action myself, with some romance thrown in), romance and relationships play a vital part in our lives. The end. Case and point. I don't understand why it's so looked down upon.

As for the fact that NA reads like YA except with bolder sex scene's I have this to say, sexual exploration is a fact of life, and it actually may be considered an important fact of life, in this country sex it still a very taboo subject that makes a lot of people uncomfortable, and I think that's a problem. Romantic relationships are a very important aspect of NA life, it's during that time that we are not only finding our way career wise, but it may be during your mid 20's that you find the person that you walk down the isle toward. Call it silly or dramatic if you want to but that's how I feel and I can't change it.

Below are a few links,

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi- Review

Happy Holiday's to everyone again. I hope you all had a great Christmas. So while I was sitting around visiting my parents and waiting for them to finish cooking (I'm not exactly useful in the kitchen) I finished Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. Here we go.

 Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

I feel like I own Tahereh Mafi an apology because I don't know what I was doing that kept me from reading (AKA audiobooking) this book. It was fantastic from start to finish. I love the the crossing out of lines, I love listening (because I did audiobook it) listening to Juliette's inner monologue, and I love her character development. Juliette goes from a mousy prisoner with very little left to live for, to a woman who has gained the self confidence and self worth to do what she has to to survive, and accept herself.Two thumbs up Tahereh. I love that the supporting characters are more than just background, I love that although the romance in this book is awesome, there's more to their relationship and the book than "boy meets girl". I love everything!!

Unravel Me, here I come!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


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Happy Holidays!!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. As I sit in for my three hours shift knowing I wont see any patrons today (the floor I work on doesn't open until 1pm on Tuesdays, but the library closes at 12 today... yup) I'm thinking of all the books on my Goodreads list that I'm looking forward to buy with the Barnes and Noble card I'm sure to get from my parents tomorrow. They look a little something like this.





And many many more. This past year, according to Goodreads, I read 78 books. For 2014 I'm shooting for 85. Hopefully the above books will kick of the new year. Happy Holidays everyone!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

It's not Follow Friday anymore but that's okay.

So through some fancy clicking I found this thing called Feature and Follow it was created by Alisoncanread and Parajunkee. It's a really cool way for bloggers to find and follow each other, it's a win win for all involved. I'm still a beginning blogger, but I'm working on it. So hopefully I do this right. 


Question: Pick a book from your favorite genre that you'd recommend to a reluctant reader.

I would recommend The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
I love this book, in fact I love all of her books, her adult series included!!

The Summoning 

I hope I did all of this right. I'm off to follow people, hopefully people follow me as well!

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott- Review

Life. Death. And...Love?

Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.

But Emma can't tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.

Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn't have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.

Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?

I got this book from Netgalley and I've never read a story with a plot line like this. Emma's mother died while pregnant with her half brother. Emma's step-father Dan decided to keeps Emma's mom's body breathing while his son grew to term. Emma is furious, she's convinced that not only didn't her mom want the baby in the first place (she did it for Dan), but she was terrified of being pregnant, she was terrified of what the baby was doing to her body. Emma does everything possible to make Dan's life miserable. Where once there was a great relationship between step-father and step-daughter, there was nothing left but contempt. Emma has begun to fail her classes, and although she has managed to keep a relationship with her best friend, Emma knows that she will never been as she was before. There is so much emotion in this book it's almost too much to handle. My heart goes out to Emma, she has to go to a hospital and talk to her mother who she knows will be allowed to die after giving birth to her brother, I can't imagine how much harder it's going to be when she has to bury her mother. I also understand Dan's need to save his son. Luckily Emma connects with the resident bad boy Caleb who isn't as bad and heartless as we originally believe.

I couldn't ask for a better story, and I couldn't ask for a better ending, although I wished for nothing more than for Emma and Dan to repair their relationship and live happily ever after with the new baby, I knew it couldn't be that easy. Both Emma and Dan had a lot of demons to battle. I love the ending, it was sad and beautiful at the same time.

I give this story two thumbs up!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Goodreads To Read List

So I'm done with classes until early February, so what's my plan you ask... why reading of course. A friend and I have a two person book club, we read a book and then Skype each other and geek out about whatever the book for that month is. This month we read Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, and next month we're reading How to Love by Katie Cotugno.When deciding what book to read I tend to look at my Goodreads "to read" list to see if anything sparks my interest. When I last looked at my list I had 32 books... 32 books... how did that even happen?? Going down the list here are a few:

Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia by Jenny Torres Sanchez
Girl of Nightmares (Anna Dressed in Blood #2) Kendare Blake
Paper Towns- John Green
Sever- Lauren DeStefano
My Name is Rapunzel- K.C. Hilton
Hunger- Michael Grant
Never Fade- Alexandra Bracken
Two Boys Kissing- David Levithan
Hex Hall- Rachel Hawkins

There are many many more. I went through the list trying to find books to delete and I just couldn't do it. I want to read them all!!!!

I may have a problem :/

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Attention world YA matters. Just accept it and move on.

The other day a patron came into the library and was talking about... something (I don't know what she was talking about, but she wouldn't stop rambling). At some point I mentioned that we have books here for teens as well as children, and I told her that we get a lot of adult patrons as well because they also read YA books. The woman instantly replies with "I know isn't it sad." I swear to you I heard a roaring in my ears. What is that supposed to mean, what's so bad about YA???? So here are a few articles that speak about the benefits of YA and why those books are so important. Take that :/

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Young at heart book club

They've started an adult YA book club at my library and because I have constant dealings with YA books the person running it asked for a few suggested books:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian- Sherman Alexie
Me Earl and the Dying Girl- Jesse Andrews
Thirteen Reasons Why- Jay Asher
45 Pounds- K.A. Barson
Beauty Queens- Libba Bray
Matched- Ally Condie
Delerium- Lauren Oliver
Perios 8- Chris Cruther
Staying Fat For Sarah Byrnes- Chris Crutcher
The Maze Runner- James Dashner
Real Vampires Don’t Sparkle- Amy Fecteau
The Fault in Our Stars- John Green
Looking For Alaska- John Green
Will Grayson, Will Grayson- John Green
Every Day- David Levithan
Shatter Me- Tahereh Mafi
Cinder- Marissa Meyer
Divergent- Veronica Roth
Eleanor and Park- Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl- Rainbow Rowell
The 5th Wave- Rick Yancey
I am the Messenger- Markus Zusak
Tilt- Ellen Hopkins
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe- Benjamin Alire Saenz
Uglies- Scott Westerfeld
Between the Lines- Jodi Picoult

I may have gone overboard just a little bit :/

Monday, December 16, 2013

Pawn- Review

 For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand. (

This was a great book, I'm glad I ordered it for my library. I love the character of Kitty, my heart broke for her as she tried to make the best of the worst of a very bad situation. Kitty's face and body have been taken from her, and she has two options, act as Lila Hart and do the bidding of the head of the family, Augusta, or die. Kitty must outwit a family of deceivers, and backstabbers, if she want to survive and keep her boyfriend Benjy safe. 

The Hart family is full of secrets and so is this book, from beginning to end I was hooked. Kitty is a fantastic character who really comes into her own and learns what she's made of as she comes to realize that she's more than the number tattooed across the back of her neck, and if she's willing to risk it, she might be able to do more for she people, than anyone from the Hart family ever could.

The Hart family is a big problem, I don't even know where to begin, Daxton, worst human being ever, hands down. Augusta was a weird one, she seemed to hate everyone except Greyson, but why? Why did she choose Greyson to love above the rest, maybe it was because he was so passive, I don't know. Despite all of her hatred, she almost seemed to truly believe that she was doing what was best for her country (you know, shooting people on sight, sending them to Elsewhere, and creating replacements for anyone who she still had use for). 

Part of the reason I liked the book so much was because I did all of this extra thinking about the characters, and there were a few twist that I really didn't see coming (although there were a few that I was able to guess).

This is a must read for everyone, the only part that sucks a little... I have to wait until next November to read book 2 :(

Saturday, December 14, 2013

There are more to book to movie titles premiering in 2014 than I thought

So I want wondering exactly how many movies were coming out that were based off of YA books, and I found out that there are more than I was expecting. Going down the list I found:

The Book Thief
The Maze Runner
The Hobbit: There and Back Again
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
The Fault in Our Stars
The Giver
If I Stay

I'm not a movie person but I guess I'm going to be spending a lot of time there next year, I was already excited about the Book Thief, Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, and the Maze Runner, but I had no idea that Trash, If I Stay, Alexander, and The Giver were coming out as well. The excitement is brewing!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Morganville Vampires- Review

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I was always a very big fan of Rachel Caine, I accidentally stumbled across her Weather Warden series, and devoured them, along with her Outcast series, and the Revivalist series is still going. Despite all of this, I didn't want to read the Morganville series, something about a town run by vampires just sounded... silly. I resisted until I had a reading assignment for class and I saw that the first Morganville book (Glass Houses) was an option, I considered it an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. I read book 1, then I read book 2 and 3 and 4, and 5, and so on and so forth, I think I'm on book 8 and I still like them. When describing the series I call them fluffy reads, in the best of ways, I don't think they'll win any intellectual awards (although I think a few were on YALSA's reluctant readers list) but they keep teens entertained and reading and that's all that matters.

I like the characters: the school nerd, the goth girl, the stereotypical good guy, and the town bad boy. It's nothing we haven't seen before, but somehow Rachel Caine continues to keep me entertained. At times I want to roll my eyes ask Clair how many times she's going to get kidnapped, or shake Shane and tell him to control his temper, but these kids live in a town run by vampires so what more can we expect. I'm looking forward to when I can read Daylighters and finish this series off.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

I was definitely a fan of this book. I love the scene that were written in script and the way Greg retold the failed girl encounters of his childhood. When reading this book it truly felt as if Greg was sitting there telling me this story. I really appreciated how Greg compared his story to what we may have expected from reading other stories with similar story lines. He told us that this wasn't going to be a story where he fell in love with the girl who had cancer and she was miraculously cured, he told us that this wasn't going to be a story where the girl died but left her mark of the lives of others. Greg's way of telling his story was almost perfect because the reality of life is that not every story has a beautiful ending, but you just have to live with it.

I will say that at times I felt like Greg was a little on the immature side for a high school senior and it did pull me from the story sometimes. Other than that, I was pretty happy. I give this somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars, lets go with 3.75

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cress Chapter 1- Review

There's isn't too much to say since this is only one chapter but I'm looking forward to this book. In October I hosted a Skype chat with Marissa Meyer and my book club and it was fantastic. My teens and I are looking forward to the release of Cress and we are going to be per-ordering it very soon. I already have so many questions about Cress. What was she banished, how long has she be in the satellite, when was she last on Earth, why does she receive injections.I'm counting down the days until the rest of the book.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dream Girl- Review

 For Christine, dreams have never meant much. Until she meets Gabriel. Everyone thinks Christine should stay away from her new coworker at the library—thanks to his bad reputation—but when her dreams grow more vivid and she becomes entangled in a dangerous dream world with Gabriel every night, she can’t stay away. Soon it’s clear there is far more to dreams than Christine ever imagined, and now she’s on the path to making the biggest, and strangest, decision of her life. (

Let me just start by saying that I love the idea behind all of this. Gabriel has spent most of his life dream walking (against his will might I add), not only is he forced to stay in these dreams for a undetermined amount of time, but if he's hurt in them, he's hurt in real life as well. It makes the old superstition that if you die in your dreams, you die in real life, very scary. Right after she meets Gabriel, Christine begins to dream walk as well, only, she has no clue what's going on, until she meets Gabriel in a dream and he is forced to explain. Then we insert bad guys and government officials and we have a big mess on our hands.

As much as I love the idea of this story, the read was a little hard for me. I wish there had been a little more build up the the relationship between Gabriel and Christine. I feel like everything happened between them so quickly, that as it readers, it was hard to connect with them. One day they're meeting at work, the next day Gabriel is leaving stories (although it read more like poetry) in her locker, and then they're instantly connected and joined at the hip, it was just hard to get my head around. I also didn't really understand the government angle. I think it's cool that the government had this whole "dream department" that no one knows about, but what does the government want them to do, why are they important, do they go after terrorists? I assume these questions will be answered in book two, but I felt like it was worth mentioning.

I work with teenagers, I'm around them, literally, all day long, so I have a pretty good handle on teenage speech patterns, and Christine and Gabriel didn't quite make it there for me. It doesn't flow, it doesn't seem natural, kind of readers like an adult wrote it as opposed to a teen is saying it. For example "I thought things were beyond hope when Brett broke Leo's nose, but things managed to degenerate further" (p 223). I love that the chapters alternate between Gabriel and Christine first person POV, it allows us to connect with them (those poor kids go through so much), but some of the things that they say and think translate as if a teen was writing a graded paper, it's like they're trying to class up the way they speak for a better grade, so it doesn't flow as well as it could.

Other than those things, I really liked the story. It's not often that I read about dream walkers, and I've certainly never imagined anything like this. I look forward to reading book two.

I give this a 3 out of 5 stars.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Statistical Probability of Love at First SIght- Review

Books like this ruin my life, because these things will never happen to me and I will always be sad about it. Hadley is on her way to London to watch her father marry another woman. She is prepared to be as disruptive and surely as possible and begins with accidentally missing her flight. When waiting at the gate becomes too much to bare, Hadley escapes and bumps into a British college student, Oliver. They spend the rest of the time in the airport and on the flight, where they are seat mates, talking about Hadley's dad and exchanging witty (adorable) banter. Hadley see's Oliver's garment bag and assumes he's going to a wedding as well, through the flight she tells him bits of information about what her life was like before her dad left and what it's been life since he decided to stay in London, but everything changes when Hadley gets to the wedding, and when she find out where Oliver was really going.

I'm not sure where to start. First I love the premise of this story. Most of us have done the airport thing, but I bet none of us have even fathomed that we could have an experience like Hadley's. I get a squishy feeling in my stomach when I think about it. I was to go book a flight somewhere :)

Seriously though, I also really liked that we got to see Hadley's character progression as she came to the realization that, although her father has a life somewhere else, it doesn't mean that he set out to hurt her. I loved watching her go from a slightly bitter and angry teen with thoughts of bringing her father and his new wife down, to someone who can take the high road and make the best out of a new situation (notice how I didn't say bad there).

Kudos to Jennifer Smith for not going overboard. Nothing upsets me more than two characters who make eye contact and fall madly in love with each other and other silly things ensue. I understand looking at someone and finding them physically attractive and looking at someone and feeling some "connection" and then everyone lives happily ever after without any of the problems and trials that real couples face. I was prepared for this to be one of those books because at this point the phrase "love at first sight" reminds me of Snow White or something (I mean really, one kiss, kill the bad guy, and you ride off into the sunset together, that's fine when you're five, but let's move on people).

I can't even get in to Oliver without giving things away, so I'm just going to say my heart goes out to him.

I will say that I didn't understand why the story wasn't told in 1st person POV, that kind of confused me, but other than that, I give this two thumbs up.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hurry up 2014

The, no where near complete, list of what I want to read in 2014 (the full list is too long to think about).

Cress- Marissa Meyer
Ignite Me- Tahereh Mafi

(Can't find the cover)
The Infinite Sea- Rick Yancey
Panic- Lauren Oliver

Hollow City- Ransom Riggs
Lair of Dreams- Libba Bray

(Can't find a cover)
Darkest Minds 3- Alexandra Bracken

Monday, November 18, 2013

Teen Space

So here's the deal. I work in a youth room, so we have birth to seventeen materials on one floor (and it's not a very big floor). On the right side of the room we have children's, there are picture books, toys, puzzles, a large carpet for them the play on, and the little baby tables (you know what I'm talking about). In the middle of the room we have the circulation desk and five computers, and on the left side of the room has all of the juvenile books, non-fiction books, and one row of YA materials. Needless to say I've been a little obsessive with growing and updating the collection. In the middle of the four shelves that house these items there are three tables and some chairs. Where these tables and chairs are currently positioned, we have 0% visibility, none of the kids in that area can be seen from the circ. desk. I want to change absolutely everything. Well, rearrange it anyway. I want to shift the shelving units so that the sitting space that we have in the middle of our non-fiction section, will be where we have our YA books. I then want to add three study desk to the teen area, so that the study desks, the row of YA material, and the wall will create a teen corner.

I think it' so important to have a dedicated space that can appeal to the teens who are frequent library users, and the teens who are looking for a safe place to go after school. I think that it's so easy to overlook teen needs in library space, because they're such a hard demographic to reach out to, but when I read the YALSA Teen Space Guidelines it stated "Libraries are vital to today’s teens in order for them to achieve a successful transition from childhood to adulthood. They offer the resources and the environment that foster positive intellectual, emotional and social development of tomorrow’s adults. All of these factors contribute to the need for distinct teen spaces, both in-library and virtually." I couldn't agree more, I've sat and watched as seventeen year old's, twelve year old's, and five years old's, share seating space and study space, and it just doesn't work. Teens are on a very different level that tweens a children developmentally so we need to work to accommodate those developmental differences. My library isn't in a position where we can build on attachments, or add another floor so we have to do what we can with what space we have.

Creating a small teen corner may not solve all of our spacing issues, but I think it would be a great start.

Here are a few articles that I found while reading about teen space
 The Need for Teen Space in Public Libraries
YALSA Teen Space Guidelines 
Speaking up for Library Service to Teens 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Alienated- Review (First ARC!!)

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

I've always been the first to say that alien books weren't my thing, I always found them cheesy and unbelievable. The stories just never seemed real to me. I began to change my mind back in May when I read The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, I found myself so unbelievable hooked and drawn into the story that I could hardly stand it. Alienated met all of my expectations. 

A race of aliens called L'eihrs made contact with Earth and two years later the L'eihrs and the people of Earth are embarking on a type of student exchange program. Humans want to learn more about the aliens who have DNA almost exactly the same as their own but have evolved so much they have obtained the power to speak telepathically and have created a cure for cancer. Without any spoilers let just say we're a bit fuzzier on what the L'eihrs gain from the alliance.

I was a pretty big fan of the characters from the beginning. I love that when we meet Cara she's reminiscing about how she beat out another kid for valedictorian. It would be easy to expect some condescending main character throwing around SAT words, and finding slick and sneaky ways to remind us of knowledge, but it was easy to forget. In addition to Cara's knowledge she's got snarky (and I mean that in a good way), witty, no nonsense attitude that allows her to push forward through the challenges that face her and her L'eihr exchange student Aelyx. In the beginning Aelyx has a cold robotic exterior that seems so at odds with Cara's outspoken and emotional personality. 

When HALO (Human Against L'eihr Occupation) made their appearance it was done in such a way that I was actually pretty sad and disappointed, but not in  Melissa Landers, I was disappointed because when I read about the group and their demonstrations, and prejudices my first thought was "yeah that seems about right," I had no problem imagining people reacting so violently against a type of people they didn't understand and feared.

As HALO began to gain confidence and act out in more violent ways Aelyx and Cara slowly and gradually grew closer. I LOVED the way Melissa Landers went about creating their relationship, it seemed very real, through Cara's blog posts, random questions, and never ending quest to find something that Aelyx could eat they learned about each other, and grew the care for each other and it was beautiful to watch. As nice as it is when the main characters fall for each other at first sight and fight to live happily ever after, it was refreshing to see a relationship grow.

The ending... I didn't know this wouldn't be a free standing book, so as it was ending and I began to see where it was going I just got frustrated because all I could think was, "Am I really going to have to wait another year to find out happens next???" I give this book four stars and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book!