Friday, June 28, 2013

New discoveries

I feel I'm discovering all sorts of fun new things recently. My newest discovery is something through Simon and Schuster called Pulseit, it allows you to read new or soon to be released YA books online. There is only one book available at a time and it's only available for a month, but I think it's great because you still get that opportunity, and for people who are dying for ARCs (like me), it's a wonderful opportunity.

I registered last night after my co-worker told me about it. Because it's the end of the month the books they're featuring is only available for another two days but I still went through the process to figure it out. The book their offering for the month of June is actually an older book (which I didn't figure out until a character mentioned myspace, then I checked the book out on goodreads), but the theory is that they're offering that book because there's a giveaway for ARC written by the same author... I think.

Right next to the book that can be read now, which is Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt and from what I can see, next months book is going to be FML which looks hilarious and I'm dying to read it. *Crossing Fingers* If pulseit works out for me hopefully I'll be able to review a lot more (and more recent) books.

I'm working to improve my review writing technique. Helpful tips and tricks are appreciated :)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Teen jeopardy

So when I was going through the summer read CD that hey gave us I stumbled across this History jeopardy power point that had already been created, all you have to do it run it. I sat and pondered using it because I didn't think that teens would want to do more homework after they has just finished with finals, man was I wrong. They were really excited when I told them about it, especially when I told them that the winning team would be winning summer read prizes.

I split the teens into two teams and connected my computer to a projector that we have in the community room so that everyone would be able to see the questions (answer) just like in real jeopardy. They had cookies and juice boxes as brain food and we played the game, it was so much fun. I think they fact that they were playing in teams took some of the edge off of some of the harder questions.

The game was quick, easy, and fun for everyone, and I was finally able to get rid of some of the random things we'd ordered and then realized we didn't know how we'd use. I hope that I can find more pre-made fun jeopardy games and maybe make this a monthly or bimonthly thing.

Let the hunt begin.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The 5th Wave- Review

My blogs are back. The summer read kickoff when without a hitch with the Sciencetellers and I've explained our prize system to about 500 people, that has to be the bulk of the chaos right... probably not, the last day of school is on Wednesday so I'm sure it only gets crazier from there. Alright, talking aside, about The 5th Wave.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

I've been waiting for this book since I saw it on the cover of Growing Minds magazine (which I love by the way). I give this book five stars, hands down. I'm normally not one for aliens. I've watched a few of the movies but for some reason I could never get into it, I could never suspend my disbelief and believe what I was reading or watching, but this, this book was different. The idea that the aliens attack the planet in waves, as opposed to dropping down from the mother ship with flying saucers and giant robots probably helped. These aliens managed to hit us (humans) in ways that we absolutely couldn't defend, by the time the 5th wave approaches, humanity is well on it's way to destroying itself.

The characters that Rick Yancey has created and thrown into this world are fantastic. Cassie begins the novel by doing the unthinkable. He has to make honest to goodness rough and tough decisions and the way that Yancey sets them into motion we feel with her. We cry with her, worry with her, and we're just as snarky as she is ( I love characters like that). All I can say about Evan without spoiling anything is I TOTALLY KNEW IT.

Happy reading!!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

New Experiences

I began my job in November, (although I did work in Academic for four years during college) and I feel like I have a relatively good handle on things. I know the kids, I know the collection, I'm learning more about collection development and weeding, I can run the story times (sort of), and I'm pretty good at trouble shooting.

All of that being said, summer read is driving me a little insane and technically it hasn't even started yet. How is that possible. People are beginning to register for summer read but here in CT we're experimenting with this new online program called Evanced that's suppose to make it easier and more efficient to record statistics. The issue is, in my community a lot of people don't have regular access to computers and we can tell them about this program all we want, but a lot of teens don't really seem to be willing to exert the effort to use the hour of computer time that they get at the library to sign up for summer reading, so I find myself partially registering them, then handing them the keyboard so they can enter a user name and password and it takes more time than it sounds like it does. I hope that if I at least get them to sign up, then it will make it that much easier to get them to log the books that they read.

There are also a fair amount of generous companies in the area. There is a restaurant that gave us free kids meal coupons attached to little awards for kids 12 and under, an indoor water park than has given us tickets, a zoo that has given us tickets, and a ton of other things that I can't even think about right now. We need ways to give these away. It sounds like a no brainer but we want programs and winners attached to these things. We've got some big prizes saved for the big winners at the end of the summer, but there are still all of these little ones to make up and manage. We're thinking about arranging raffles for a few things, but we'd like a few educational program attached as well. For this month I already have two reading challenges set up for various age groups, not to mentions a summer long reading program that kind of bumps heads with the June reading challenge for 12 and under.

We have our big summer kick off on the 15th but we're running into registrations issues because so many people just can't remember to register their kids online and we don't always have computers for them to do it on. I think what I'd like to do (and I'm having this thought as I'm typing this right now) is to set up one of the library lap tops and use it just for summer read registrations and demonstration, why the heck didn't I think about that before.

In addition to planning program around all the new stuff we have to give away, there are the usual library help questions, as well as final projects that kids are beginning so yeah... that's happening.

To top of everything, the other person I work with is still new and I feel so bad because it's like she's literally stepped into chaos. Talk about grabbing the bull by the horns. I knew summer read was a big deal and I knew it would be challenging, but I think part of the shock is because it's almost as if June crept up on me. I feel like it was snowing a few weeks ago.

However, I have hope, if I can change an actors from head to toe in twelve seconds during a live performance (back in my theatre days) then I should be able to get through this... I hope :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

My simplest/ toughest program yet.

So I meet with the TAG kids every month to plan a program for the following month and basically get their thoughts about how things are running in the Graham Room. I'm not sure if I blogged it but last month the kids put together their first program and called it Flashback Game Night. The basic idea was to get a ton of board and card games, set them up on various tables in our community room, and let kids have at it. Throw some food in there and it really isn't all that complicated. I though it would be no big deal, I figured between TAG, the book club, and the teen volunteers (and most kids all in all three), we would have maybe 12 or so kids.

I have never been more wrong about anything in my life, 23 kids showed up to this program and how many adults were there to supervise and keep things in order you ask, just one, only me. It was a ton of fun, but slightly overwhelming at the same time. I had kids calling me over to play Candy Land, then Boggle, then Apples to Apples. the next thing you know I'm on the floor playing twister. It was a ton of fun, but while that was happening, there was some kid throwing Jenga blocks, other kids suspiciously sneaking off to roll chairs down the hallway, lights were turned on and off, and I caught a pretzel mid air, nothing catastrophic, and nothing I couldn't handle, but a person can only be in so many places at one time.

People say that that's the most kids that have ever been to a program that we didn't put lots of money into, and I'm proud to have been a part of it, but next time, I'm bringing reinforcements.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Transcendence- Review

When a visit to the Tower of London triggers an overwhelmingly real vision of a beheading that occurred centuries before, Cole Ryan fears she is losing her mind. A mysterious boy, Griffon Hall, comes to her aid, but the intensity of their immediate connection seems to open the floodgate of memories even wider.

As their feelings grow, Griffon reveals their common bond as members of the Akhet—an elite group of people who can remember past lives and use their collected wisdom for the good of the world. But not all Akhet are altruistic, and a rogue is after Cole to avenge their shared past. Now in extreme danger, Cole must piece together clues from many lifetimes. What she finds could ruin her chance at a future with Griffon, but risking his love may be the only way to save them both.

Full of danger, romance, and intrigue, Transcendence breathes new life into a perpetually fascinating question: What would you do with another life to live?

Alright true confession time. I was checking out the teen blog form my old town library trying to find ways to spice up my own library's blog and they have one of those awesome things where the book cover scroll and you can click one to see the book description. I saw this cover go by and clicked it because the cover gave the impression that the book was going to have some type of fantasy theme, but the guy on the cover was Africa American... and I was very confused. I'm not going to get preachy on you about minority characters in books because that's never been my thing, but being African American myself, it would be nice to have more opportunities to read about characters that look like me. Now there are quite a few novels out there, I have Walter Dean Myers books in my library just like everyone else, but most of it is... depressing. Most of what I stumble across where the main character is African American is about inner cities, poverty, absentee fathers, drugs, and other things that fall into that category. Now I do love that in many of these books the teen is overcoming adversity, and working hard to be a better person, and these type of novels are important to teens in similar situations to those. Those teens need to know that there is hope, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, you just may have to wade though some bad things before you reach that light. However sometimes I just want to read a book like Divergent, Uglies, The Fault in Our Stars, Legend, or Between the Lines, where the character looks like I do. So when I saw this cover, I immideatley clicked on it to see what it was about and the it's premise was right up my alley (as you may be able to guess from the titles I listed tee hee hee). Sorry I hate when people ramble on like this, I'm now climbing off my box, basically I just wanted to provide the background for how I found this book, because I'm thanking the gods for it.

This is the first book I've read that's about reincarnation (with the exception of Fallen) and I loved it. I've always been open to the idea of reincarnation and I'm a serious believer in Karma, so everything in this book fit perfectly with me. The thought that there might be people out there who remember their past lives was fantastic, and horribly sad all at the same time. I'm a big fan of jumping in head first with books, I don't have the patience to go though all the back story first, I need to start with action and drama and then we can gradually fill in the details. This book did exactly that starting with one of Cole's flashbacks on the second page, that's a sure fired way to hooks readers, and man was i hooked. I read the book in one day. 

Poor Cole thinks she's losing her mind with all of the flashbacks she's having, and when Griffon offers her a completely fantastical explanation, she wants to blow him off, but not only is he drop dead gorgeous, but some of what he says makes sense. Now I have to say that I live the way that Omololu created these characters. I feel like a tremendous amount of thought when into everything about this book. As much as it broke my heart to see Griffon pulling away from Cole physically in the beginnings of the book, he's reasoning was almost flawless. Someone who remembers tons of past lives is going to be different that the average seventeen year old, and the fact that Griffon recognizes this and tries to stay away from Cole physically despite the fact that he's clearly attracted to her was well thought out and I approved. (Two thumbs up). It made a story that was clearly fantasy, almost seem to be a reality. I also liked Veronique, it took me a while to figure out what was up with her, much longer than it has in other books, but one I figured her out, again... two thumbs up.

So I highly recommend this book, the characters are creative, and realistic, and this world that Omololu put together is beautifully thought out. Besides if you don't read this one, then what are you going to do when the sequel comes out next month. 

Malinda Lo is offer up an ARC of the second book called Intuition on her blog. I've entered twice. Here's hoping, I never get ARCs.

Invisibility- Review

Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth. (

This was a good book, it reminded me quite a bit of Every Day, except Stephen is invisible, and ironically, figuring out how to live with his curse and  be there for his girlfriend, isn't his biggest issue. I'll have to say that what I really liked about this book was the relationship between Stephen and his dad. The relationship between a father and a son is important is all great novels (and movies), that yes, I was heartbroken reading about how hard it was for Stephen to be in the same room as his dad and hear about his dad's new family, the family that he left Stephen and his mother for. However, it was also intriguing when Stephen stopped to think about what kind of parent he would be if the situation was reversed. If Stephen had a son who was born invisible, would he be the parent who tried their hardest to nestle out a nice peace of world for his son, of would he crumble under pressure? Without being in that situation it's had to know. My heart also squeezed a bit in the end when Stephen was listening to the voice mails that his father was leaving and the description of the frantic nature of Stephen's dad's voice. It made me think that there might still be hope for them.

Two thumbs up also to Laurie (and the fact that their mom names them after characters from Little Woman, LOVE). Laurie was a fantastic supporting role if I ever saw one. Laurie and Elizabeth/ Jo/ Josie (lol) are almost polar opposites but they are the epitome of the opposites attract rule, somehow they just work well together as brother and sister. I enjoyed Laurie's story (well... you know what I mean), and the fact that he honestly tried to live his life in as positive of a nature as he could, yet somehow it wasn't cheesy, I think it was because he was so witty about it :)


In true David Levithan nature, the ending isn't spelled out for you. The bad guy has be eradicated, good has once again triumphed over evil, but people are still cursed, others are dead, and Stephen is still invisible. the ending is purposely left ambiguous but, just like Every Day, I think that makes the story more realistic. In the real world, everything isn't always wrapped up in a neat little bow at the end of the day. Some things work out, and others don't, but you still have to live to walk through another day.

Five stars!! (or maybe like 4.5)