Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Battle of the Books

Voting for Round Two is open from Monday, April 8 - Saturday, April 13. Check this page each week for new voting links.

Click the link to vote!

Cinder VS Lord of the Rings

Get to know the four districts:

Panem - Post-Apocalyptic & Dystopian District
These are books that take place in the future, either after a major Earth catastrophe or where the government has declared certain laws that make the world a bad place to live (and sometimes both). Think Hunger Games or The Maze Runner.

New Beijing - Sci-Fi & Fantasy District
These are books that take place in different worlds and include magic or they have amazing technology (and sometimes aliens). Think I Am Number Four or Eragon.

Sherwood Forest - Contemporary & Historical District
These books either take place in the present or in the past, generally with regular people without special powers or abilities. Think The Perks of Being a Wallflower or Scarlet (a retelling of Robin Hood).

Pandemonium Club - Paranormal & Urban Fantasy
These books are very similar. Paranormal stories focus on human and non-human characters (like vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc.). Urban Fantasy often has similar supernatural character elements to Paranormal stories, but these take place in a specific city setting. Think City of Bones (urban fantasy) or Beautiful Creatures (paranormal).

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teen Tech Week - QR Code Scavenger Hunt

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to come to the library sometime between Monday, March 11th and Friday, March 15th and search for QR codes hidden throughout the library. Grab a handout from the Teen Librarian's desk and list all of the sites the QR codes take you to. When you're done, turn in the handout to the Teen Librarian or one of the Children's Librarians. At the end of the week I'll review all of the handouts and collect the names of everyone who got all the right answers. I'll randomly draw a name from this group and that person will win a $25 dollar gift card to their choice of Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or iTunes.

What: QR Code Scavenger Hunt
Where: Mooresville Public Library
When: March 11 to March 15 during open hours
How: Download a free QR code app to your smart phone and scan the codes hidden throughout the library. The codes will take you to a website of my choosing. Write down the information from the website on the handout provided at the Teen Librarian's desk in the YAZ. Once completed, turn the handout in to the Teen Librarian or one of the Children's Librarians.
Why: 1) To celebrate Teen Tech Week at MPL, 2) Because it's fun, and 3) You could win a prize!

Happy Hunting!

Meg-A-Rae Episode 23: A Very Special Tekkie Episode

On this week's episode of Meg-A-Rae, Meg and I discuss Technology! Technology non-fiction available at the library, technology services (like checking out library e-books and researching with library databases) provided by the library, and technology themed books that are awesome to read! Meg reviews Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson (a great adult read with crossover potential for our older teens). I review Cinder by Marissa Meyer (a great teen read with crossover potential for adults).

Join us next week as we celebrate MARDI GRAS!!!

P.S. Teen Tech Week is coming March 10-16th!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Teen Tech Week Book Lists: Part 4 - Time Travel

In honor of Teen Tech Week, I've put together a series of book lists that fit the technology theme. These lists include Technology, Sci-Fi, Steampunk, and Time Travel.

This is the last list in the series: TIME TRAVEL (aka Timey Wimey)
(Note: this list doesn't cover the vast number of titles that fit the Time Travel description; these are titles selected from MPL's collection. Also, some titles may be repeated on multiple lists!)

Crewel (Crewel World #1) Albin, Gennifer
The Future of Us Asher, Jay and Carolyn Mackler
London Calling Bloor, Edward
Pathfinder (Pathfinder series) Card, Orson Scott
So Close to You Carter, Rachel
Ruby Red Gier, Kerstin
Through to You Hainsworth, Emily
The Obsidian Blade Hautman, Pete
Erasing Time (Erasing Time #1) Hill, C.J.
Firestorm (Caretaker Trilogy) Klass, David
hourglass McEntire, Myra
The Curse of the Romanovs Rabin, Staton
Time Riders Scarrow, Alex

Teen Tech Week Book Lists: Part 3 - Steampunk

In honor of Teen Tech Week, I've put together a series of book lists that fit the technology theme. These lists include Technology, Sci-Fi, Steampunk, and Time Travel.

This is the third list in the series: STEAMPUNK
(Note: this list doesn't cover the vast number of titles that fit the Steampunk description; these are titles selected from MPL's collection. Also, some titles may be repeated on multiple lists!)

The Battle of Blood and Ink: A Fable of the Flying City  Axelrod, Jared & Steve Walker (Ill.)
Pure Baggott, Julianna
The Dark Unwinding Cameron, Sharon
Airman Colfer, Eoin
Foundling (Monster Blood Tattoo #1) Cornish, D.M.
The Girl in the Steel Corset Cross, Kady
Something Strange and Deadly Dennard, Susan
Magic Under Glass Dolamore, Jaclyn
Incarceron Fisher, Catherine
Masque of the Red Death Griffin, Bethany
Pearl Wars (Skyship Academy #1)  James, Nick
The Iron Thorn Kittredge, Caitlin
Stormdancer (Lotus War #1) Kristoff, Jay
Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories Link, Kelly
The Peculiars McQuerry, Maureen Doyle
Airborn Oppel, Kenneth
Steampunk Poe Poe, Edgar Allen
Steampunk Frankenstein Shelley, Mary
The Hunchback Assignments (Hunchback Assignments #1) Slade, Arthur
The Unnaturalists Trent, Tiffany
The Steampunk Bible VanderMeer, Jeff
Steampunk HG Wells Wells, H.G.
Leviathan Westerfeld, Scott

Teen Tech Week Book List: Part 2 - Science Fiction

In honor of Teen Tech Week, I've put together a series of book lists that fit the technology theme. These lists include Technology, Sci-Fi, Steampunk, and Time Travel.

This is the second list in the series: SCIENCE FICTION
(Note: this list doesn't cover the vast number of titles that fit the Science Fiction description; these are titles selected from MPL's collection. Also, some titles may be repeated on multiple lists!)

Feed  Anderson, M. T.
The Future of Us Asher, Jay
Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1) Card, Orson Scott
Breathe (Breathe #1) Crossan, Sarah
Halo: The Flood Dietz, William C
Pirate Cinema Doctorow, Cory
For the Win Doctorow, Cory
Little Brother Doctorow, Cory
Black Hole Sun (Black Hole Sun #1) Gill, David Macinnis
Erasing Time (Erasing Time #1) Hill, C.J.
Magisterium Hirsch, Jeff
The Pearl Wars (Skyship Academy #1)  James, Nick
Awaken (Awaken #1) Kacvinsky, Katie
Mothership Leicht, Martin
A Wrinkle in Time (Time #1)  L'Engle, Madeleine
Momentum Lloyd, Saci
I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1) Lore, Pittacus
Planesrunner McDonald, Ian
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1) Meyer, Marissa
The Host Meyer, Stephenie
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1)  Ness, Patrick
A Confusion of Princes  Nix, Garth
Academy 7 Osterlund, Anne
Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1) Revis, Beth
Glow (Sky Chasers #1)  Ryan, Amy Kathleen
Time Riders Scarrow, Alex
A Long Long Sleep Sheehan, Anna
Inside Out (Insider #1)  Snyder, Maria V.
Dreamwalker's Child Voake, Steve

Teen Tech Week Book Lists: Part 1 - Technology

In honor of Teen Tech Week, I've put together a series of book lists that fit the technology theme. These lists include Technology, Sci-Fi, Steampunk, and Time Travel.

This is the first list in the series: TECHNOLOGY
(Note: this list doesn't cover the vast number of titles that fit the Technology description; these are titles selected from MPL's collection. Also, some titles may be repeated on multiple lists!)

Title Author
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd   Anthology
The Future of Us Asher, Jay
Ashes Bick, Ilsa
Fat Cat Brande, Robin
iBoy Brooks, Kevin
Ender’s Game Card, Orson Scot
Ready Player One Cline, Ernest
Airman Colfer, Eoin
Hacking Timbuktu Davies, Stephen
For the Win Doctorow, Cory
Little Brother Doctorow, Cory
Pirate Cinema Doctorow, Cory
Epic Kostick, Conor
Human.4  Lancaster, Mike
Legend Lu, Marie
Level Up Luen Yan, Gene
Planesrunner McDonald, Ian
Cinder Meyer, Marissa
Delirium Oliver, Lauren
Erebos Poznanski, Ursula
A Web of Air Reeve, Philip
Across the Universe Revis, Beth
Glow Ryan, Amy Kathleen
Star Wars Encyclopedia Sansweet, Stephen
Time Riders: Day of the Predator Scarrow, Alex
Wired Wasserman, Robin
Leviathan Westerfeld, Scott
Uglies Westerfeld, Scott

Meg-A-Rae Episode 22: A Very Special Librarian Episode

In this week's episode, Meg and I discuss books where librarians are major characters and libraries are main settings. I doubt you'd be surprised to learn that we kinda love any book that shows library love. Meg discusses one of Charlaine Harris's other series, the Aurora Teagarden series, about a librarian whose true crimes book club finds themselves in the middle of a true crime. I discuss Librynth, a fantasy story of a girl trying to save her world's library (and thus knowledge) from the Eradicants.

Join us next time as we discuss technology-themed books!

Blind Date with a Book

For Valentine's Day, we're celebrating with a very special display: Blind Date with a Book. Putting this display together was significantly more ambitious than what I did last year, which was a little sign and zombie books (they'll eat your heart out).

So here's how it works: I selected just shy of 50 books from various genres (all of them awesome). For each title, I wrote a dating profile, complete with a headline and a 2-3 sentence blurb. Each of the books were wrapped by my wonderful League of Extraordinary Teens: Teen Council members. The profiles were printed and added to the front of each wrapped book.

Blind Date with a Book: Take a chance and you may just find your perfect book.

(For my fellow librarians, we are fortunate to have a scanning system that doesn't require a bar code reader, but I also added a number to the dating profile that referenced the wrapped title in a spreadsheet. This way, if there was a request for a specific book, we could find it.)

I pulled so many books that I thought would be awesome for this little project that I needed an overflow space. A BIG overflow space.

I'm also trying to promote the love with my programming board. Hmm...looks like my handwriting began to tilt a bit - sorry Sarah!

So, what books did I use? Sorry - not gonna tell. At least not in this blog entry. However, I'll share the dating profiles, and if you find one of interest leave me a comment on the blog and I'll let you know the title. (Fellow YA librarians - if you'd like the full list of profiles and titles, email me at [The titles are now included below!]. You are welcome to use the profiles, but if you blog about it, please reference me and link back to this blog post!!!)

Blind Date with a Book Book List

1. If the house is rocking…run far, far away.  I'm normal on the outside, but I'm dark and creepy (in a good way) on the inside. I'm looking for someone who likes a good scare. Do you think you can handle me?

2. Everything I learned, I learned from the movies. I'm an amateur film maker who hopes to make a difference in the lives of others. I'm looking for someone who will support my efforts and isn't afraid of a good cry. Will you buy my ticket?

3. Dig that funky wavelength. I live in the past, but the technological future has reached me sooner than it should have. What would you do if you heard your voice from the future? Would you friend me?

4. I thought I knew what the future held…  I hear voices, but I swear I'm not crazy. They tell me to do things (still not crazy). I'm looking for someone to help me sort things out. Will you help me solve this puzzle?

5. Love is a (magic) battlefield. I'm fighting a war and discovering my hidden potential. The world is a dangerous place and I'm looking for someone to watch my back. Will you stand beside me?

6. Eat your heart out. Life is waging war everyday just to survive, but it's a lot easier with someone by your side. I'm looking for a trace of humanity in this world - do you have the heart to stick with me?

7. They say lightening never strikes twice… but does it need to? My life is full of excitement and danger, but I'm still looking for that certain spark, that electricity. Do you think we'll sizzle?

8. Looking for the cat's pajamas, not a flat tire. I'm a dame who's new to the big city and I'm looking for a live wire to show me the ropes, and maybe solve a caper or two. Are you the Real McCoy?

9. More than a pretty face. I used to think that looks were the most important thing, until a plane crash changed my pageant plans. Now I'm a warrior who can wrestle snakes and survive in the wild. Will you take me au naturel?

10. Text Me Maybe? I should warn you, me and my iPhone are one. I use it for everything from checking my email to fighting crime and righting wrongs. There's nothing we can't do. Do you think we'll sync?

11. Forget Romeo, I think I'm looking for my Juliet. I'm a drama club girl trying to figure things out. My life is like a screenplay, and we're all just characters upon the page. Will you read me?

12. Looking for a fantasy. They say you can't change the past, but I don't believe it. It defines who we are, but so do the secrets that surround us. Do you think we have a future together?

13. You've stolen my heart. I used to lead a life of crime, but I got out of the game. But you dragged me back in when you stole my heart. Will you be my partner in crime?

14. They say love is the greatest experiment. I grew up hearing the stories of secrets and experiments, but never believed they were true. Until now. Will our love be Top Secret or an Open Book?

15. Life is a mystery, and I plan to solve it. Around each corner is a new question to be answered and a new puzzle to be solved. Sometimes it can get messy or even dangerous. Are you my missing piece?

16. Looking for love against the odds. Everyone around me is sick - but I want to be sick with love. Is it survival of the fittest or does love make the heart stronger? Are you the cure to what ails me?

17. You've hacked my heart. It's you and me against the man and we've got to destroy the system. You've hacked your way into my heart, now will you conquer the world (or at least the city) with me?

18. Looking for a real live wire. I've got an electric personality and I'm looking for someone who can really light up a room. Do you think we've got a spark?

19. I'm on the hunt for my perfect partner. These are dangerous times and anymore it seems like I'm the prey surrounded by predators. Will you stand with me against the enemy?

20. It'd be a crime to pass me by. My life may seem stranger than fiction, but I promise it's based on a true story. It may seem like too difficult of a puzzle, but will you help me unravel the truth?

21. You've sent me outta this world! You've made me feel like I've won the lottery. But will our love shine as bright as the sun or will we find danger on the dark side of the moon?

22. Can't we all just get along? We're supposed to be enemies, but we could save the world if we could just be friends. Will you take the leap with me?

23. It's like déjà vu all over again. I'm an American Girl in London, looking for an adventure. But the new attacks RIPPED from old headlines have left me reeling. Can you help me figure out what's going on?

24. It's the age of the geek, baby. I've turned my gaming into a career of sorts, if you can call trying to win WWIII a career. I'm a super-human war machine…of love. Do you think you have what it takes?

25. Super Villains are people, too. Just because I was kidnapped and trained by super villains doesn't mean I don't have feelings. Maybe we've just been looking for love in all the wrong places. Would you be my hero?

26. Warrior looking for revenge against the shogun and maybe love, if there's time. Significant other must be willing join me in battle and occasionally clean up after the griffin. What's your weapon of choice?

27. Have we met? No, seriously, I can't remember - I've lost my memory. Please excuse that weird energy blast; I don't know how I did that…it's weird, right? Anyway, I'm on the run; would you like to come along?

28. Vampire Ninja seeks love. Don't be surprised if you can't see me; it'd be hard enough if I was just an ordinary ninja. But I'm hardly ordinary. Life with me can be both dangerous and a bit scary - do you think you can handle it?

29. Baby on board. Being a pregnant teen is hard enough, but try dealing with that AND aliens trying to kidnap your baby! I have a lot of hard decisions to make and would like to find someone supportive, responsible, and willing to fight aliens to stand by my side. Are you that special someone?

30. A picture's worth a thousand words. I think someone's messing with my head. Strange photos keep me up at night. What does it mean? Will you help me make sense of it all?

31. Can't watch Dexter? Then check me out. Being raised in the family business has left it's mark on me, but it turns out that I have a rare insight into the investigation of a new serial killer. Can we solve the crime together?

32. There's no place like home. I'm looking to reclaim the land and break the curse, but I can't do it alone. Will you come with me on this quest?

33. Sometimes a fight to the death is the only chance at living. This world is not kind to those without power, but I'll fight for my chance at a better life. Will you fight with me?

34. What's a girl to do when the pickings are slim? All I want is a little romance and a little fun, but I'm having a hard time finding it. Can friendship become romance?

35. Be careful what you wish for… because you might just get it. I've learned this lesson the hard way. If you could change something with the flip of a coin, would you do it?

36. I'm an old story in a new world. The future looks bleak, but we're trying to make it better. But can a lost love be returned? Is there any hope for us?

37. It's all fun and games…until… I'm a gamer, or at least I was. But the game is starting to affect my real life and it knows things about me that it couldn't know. Will you help me solve the mystery?

38. World traveler seeks friend for an adventure. A valuable piece of art has been stolen, and it's up to me to find it. My travels will take me far and wide…would you care to join me?

39. Trying to figure myself out. I'm not really sure who I am anymore. These feelings I have are confusing and unexpected. Do I like him? Do I like her? Will you help me figure it out?

40. One crazy night. One Crazy Girl. Prom night wasn't supposed to end in blood. If you're going to join me, you'd better be prepared for anything, including violence and mayhem. So, are you game?

41. I can see another world in your eyes. Unfortunately, it's a dark and dangerous world. I'm starting to wonder if I'm losing my mind. Can you help me see things clearly?

42. What are the chances of love at first sight? What are the chances you'll fall in love within 24 hours? What are the chances you can find someone again once you've lost them? Will you help me do the math?

43. Trapped with no escape. Chaos reigns and violence is our new way of life. Death surrounds us and there's no one left to help. Mine is not an easy story, and not one for the faint of heart. Will you take a shot with me?

44. Kon'nichiwa. I have many stories to tell. Stories of real life, stories in print and picture, stories of a different culture. Will you read me?

45. This is 19th century London as you've never seen it before. It's unnatural, the things happening these days. Families are being taken, and only an unlikely pair can hope to help them. Are you intrigued?

46. Sticks and stones… Words really can hurt. Reputations can change by the casual words of a stranger. So what do you have to say?

47. It's in the most difficult of circumstances that we find out what we're truly capable of. In the wastelands of this world, I fight to end the corruption that's infested this society. When the time comes, what will you find out about yourself?

48. Trying to live up to my potential… ...but freshman year keeps getting in the way. I'm looking for someone with a good sense of humor (cuz I have one, and you should think I'm funny) and who can see me for what I am: Awesome. Are we meant to be?

49. Looking for an adventure. Whether you're on the hunt for the Lost City of Atlantis or just the keys to my heart, we're on our way to an excellent adventure. Will you dive in with me?

UPDATE! I've had sooo many requests for the full book list, it's completely blown me away! I'm even getting requests THIS year! So here are the book titles and authors with the corresponding number from above. There are no current books on this list, but I hope it inspires your own displays!

# Title Author
1 Bad Girls Don’t Die Alender, Katie
2 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Andrews, Jesse
3 The Future of Us Asher, Jay
4 Touched Balog, Cyn
5 Shadow and Bone Bardugo, Leigh
6 Ashes Bick, Ilsa
7 Struck Bosworth, Jennifer
8 The Diviners Bray, Libba
9 Beauty Queens Bray, Libba
10 iBOY Brooks, Kevin
11 Between You & Me Calin, Marisa
12 Pathfinder Card, Orson Scott
13 Heist Society Carter, Ally
14 So Close to You Carter, Rachel
15 Shelter Coben, Harlan
16 The Way We Fall Crewe, Megan
17 Little Brother Doctorow, Cory
18 The Prisoner of Cell 25: Michael Vey Evans, Richard Paul
19 The Hunt Fukuda, Andrew
20 Mister Death's Blue Eyed Girls Hahn, Mary Downing
21 172 Hours on the Moon Harstad, Johan
22 Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars James, Nick
23 The Name of the Star Johnson, Maureen
24 Insignia Kincaid, S.J.
25 The Vindico King, Wesley
26 Stormdancer Kristoff, Jay
27 False Memory Krokos, Dan
28 Blood Ninja Lake, Nick
29 Mothership Leicht, Martin
30 Every You, Every Me Levithan, David
31 I Hunt Killers Lyga, Barry
32 Finnikin on the Rock Marchetta, Melina
33 Carnival of Souls Marr, Melissa
34 The Boy Recession Meaney, Flynn
35 Fair Coin Myer, E.C.
36 The Darkness Shows the Stars Peterfreund, Diana
37 Erebos Poznanski, Ursula
38 Tokyo Heist Renn, Diana
39 Boyfriends With Girlfriends Sanchez, Alex
40 Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick Schreiber, Joh
41 The Marbury Lens Smith, Andrew
42 Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight Smith, Jennifer
43 Quaranteen: The Loners Thomas, Lex
44 TOMO: An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories Thompson, Holly ed.
45 The Unnaturalsits Trent, Tiffany
46 The List Vivian, Siobhan
47 Blood Red Road Young, Moira
48 Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters Zeitlin, Meredith
49 Lost Code Emerson, Kevin

Guest Review: Pure

Pure (Pure #1)
By Julianna Baggott
Guest Reviewer: Meg Adams
“We each have a story. They did this to us. There was no outside aggressor. They wanted an Apocalypse. They wanted the end. And they made it happen. It was orchestrated - who got in, who didn't. There was a master list. We weren't on it. We were left here to die. They want to erase us, the past, but we can't let them.” 

Meg's Review:

I LOVED this book! I know dystopian is very popular right now, and it's a bit overdone. But if you liked the Hunger Games, and you want a great story about a strong female, survival, a great twist and a thriller....please take a stab at this book.  

Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost: how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as soldiers or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run. 

Burn a Pure and breathe the ash. 
Take his guts and make a sash. 
Twist his hair and make a rope. 
And use his bones to make Pure soup. 

There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss: maybe just because his family is broken, his father is emotionally distant, his brother killed himself, and his mother never make it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.

Meg-A-Rae Episode 21: A Very Special New Adult Episode

In this week's episode, Meg and I discuss a "new" genre that's been getting some press lately: New Adult. The idea behind this genre is that its intended audience is the 18-25 age range and the content is more mature. Meg discusses the dystopian novel, Pure, by Julianna Baggot - a book that MPL has in both the Adult and Teen collections. I discuss the awesomely titled Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, by Lish McBride - a book that is in our Teen collection and is a Rosie Nominee this year. 

Be sure to check out our next episode: A Very Special Librarian Episode!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Top Ten Settings I'd like to see more of in YA Lit

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature / weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we make a top ten list from a given topic.

This week's topic is: 

Top Ten Settings I would you like to see more of in YA Lit

10. Colleges/Universities: I guess this may fit in the poorly named "new adult" genre, but I'd like to see what happens to some of these teens when they leave the familiar warmth of home and venture off to college. I'd like to see what it's like for the characters to juggle fun with responsibility and how they deal with the consequences when they drop the ball. 
9. Alternate Realities: Where everything is familiar, but nothing is the same. Take anything by Jasper Fforde, for example. The Eyre Affair takes place in 1985 England where there's time travel, dodos, characters being yanked out of books and threatened with permanent story changes. Or The Last Dragonslayer which takes place in the Un-united Kingdoms, where wizards will use their magic to rewire a house and a dragon lives outside of town. 

8. On a bus, plane, or train: The whole story, told in the space of a single voyage. One where characters are forced to spend time in a small space with a number of people for a set amount of time. A lot of people don't interact in these settings in real life, but it could make for a very interesting story if they did.

7. Egypt in the late 1800s, early 1900s: I have always found archaeology fascinating. Rediscovering stories that had long since been forgotten, finding the personal elements that get lost in history books, being the first to touch something that belonged to someone centuries ago: it's all completely fascinating. History is full of stories waiting to be told, and archaeologists drag those stories out of history and allow the world to hear them again. 

6. Libraries: Yes, I'm a bibliophile, and yes, I'm a librarian, so yes, I'm a little biased on this setting. But seriously, there are some truly spectacular libraries in the world that would make for a wonderful setting! Gorgeous historical libraries, modern high-tech libraries, quaint small town libraries - the opportunities are endless! Plus, any character needing to do research who doesn't do it at a library is unlikely to get the best results. Just sayin'.

5. Belgium: I've wanted to visit Belgium ever since a friend told me that they have waffle cart vendors (rather than our more familiar hot dog cart vendors). I find that completely brilliant. Plus, Belgium is home to some pretty spectacular architecture and the European Union. I'm thinking either a travel-romance or an international spy novel would work perfectly with this setting.
4. New Zealand: Anyone who has watched the Lord of the Rings or Hobbit movies know that New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places on earth. A story set in that setting would be pretty magnificent.

3. Wales: I fell in love with Wales after spending a couple of hours in Cardiff way back in 2005. They have the most beautiful language and the most wackadoodle words. For example, "hello" in Welsh is "shwmae" and it's pronounced "SHOO mai." Isn't that fantastic?! Plus, Doctor Who is filmed there, which makes it even MORE awesome.

2. Indiana: I live in the Hoosier state, and besides the lovely John Green, a fellow Hoosier, there aren't many authors that choose to write about Indiana. A story that takes place somewhere you know well connects you to it like little else. Oh, the hero is walking the canal and is going to pass the Indiana Historical Society on his way to Military Park? I can see it!
1. Ireland: Really, anywhere in Ireland. It's the land I long to see, and if I can't afford a ticket, at least I can read about it. However, I haven't found many books in the YA-verse that take place on the Emerald Isle. That needs to change - right now.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Christmas Story

This Christmas, our library took part in a very special community event: Victorian Christmas. The YAZ (Young Adult Zone) participated by hosting a Festive Photo Booth and our Teen Council members volunteered as camera operators and guest decorators (and by that I mean they helped decorate our guests). The event was hoppin' and we had dozens of patrons stop by to get their photos taken.

Meg and I got in on the action.

But then things got a little quiet toward the end of the afternoon, and our imaginative TC members got a bit creative.

Here is a story, lovingly told in photos, by Margaret, Olivia, Keegan, and Evan:

Once upon a time, there was a Christmas reindeer.

There was also a Christmas elf.

The reindeer and elf were the best of friends.

One day, Santa had a very special task, but needed only one person to accomplish it.

Both the reindeer and the elf wanted to be Santa's helper...

So they ran off separately to see who could complete the task first.

But they didn't anticipate the senior reindeer. Nobody anticipates the senior reindeer.

The senior reindeer got the job done lickety-split, before either the reindeer and her former elven friend could get started.

The reindeer and elf were displeased and decided to get even with the senior reindeer.
The two caught the senior reindeer and tied him up in tinsel. The senior reindeer really didn't care.

The senior reindeer was not deterred by the tinsel and he left without any trouble. Still, the Christmas reindeer and elf were happy and they became friends once more.

The end.

Meg-A-Rae Episode 20: A Very Special Classic & Gothic Novel Episode

This week, Meg and I discuss how awesome and not-boring classics can be. We focus mainly on the gothics and anti-gothics of the early 1800s. Did you know that Jane Austen wrote a gothic parody the way some comic authors write vampire parodies today? Yeah, she's that cool. And if you're in the mood for angst, there's no need to look further than the gothic classics!

I have seen my future: I will be a crazy attic lady! Though, I wonder if that's anything like a crazy cat lady, because my dog really hates cats.

Join us for our next episode where we discuss the New Adult genre. Yup, there's another genre out there, and we're going to tell you all about it!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Book Review: Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick (Perry & Gobi #1)
By Joe Schreiber

"'You shot me,' I said. I was lying on my stomach, wondering if I was going to pass out from the pain. Twenty feet away, she stood with the machine pistol in one hand and the sawed-off shotgun in the other, wiping the blood out of her eyes...She walked over, knelt down, and wrapped her arms around me. She pressed her lips to my ear, close enough that I could make out the words. 'Perry,' she said, 'I had a very nice time tonight.'"
Au Revoir is an action-packed thrill-ride. I'm sure that's what the movie byline would say, at least. And it's true. It's the night of Perry's senior prom, but he hadn't planned on going. Instead, he and the other members of Inchworm had gotten a gig in NYC and they were hoping to score a record deal. But then his parents forced him to take their awkward foreign exchange student to prom. Perry figured it would be a disaster...he had no idea how right he was.

Gobi, if that is her real name, isn't really a foreign exchange student. She isn't really geeky or awkward. She isn't even a teenager. What she is, though, is out for blood. Gobi has five marks and they're all going to be in NYC on prom night, and since she can't drive, Perry becomes her unwilling chauffeur.

Except for a few pages at the beginning and the end of this book, approximately 98% of this story takes place over the course of 12 hours. The story is fast-paced as Perry and Gobi go from one hit to the next (Perry trying valiantly to escape his crazy kidnapper...until she informs him that she planted a bomb and will blow up his house with his family inside if he doesn't cooperate). As the story goes on, you wonder if Gobi is just a hired assassin, or if there's more to this grisly quest than meets the eye.

I really enjoyed this book - I could have finished it in a day if I had more free time; as it was, it only took me two days. It was an intense, but quick read. There's a significant amount of violence (though it doesn't get as graphic as it could have), some language (if there's ever been a book where the language has been justifiable, it's this one), and some talk of sex (just talk, no action), so I would recommend this book for older teens. That being said, it was a great read and I can't wait to start Perry's Killer Playlist, the sequel to Au Revoir, which takes Perry on a dangerous trip through Europe.

Book Trailer for Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Book Review: Libriomancer

Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris #1)
By Jim Hines
“Every libromancer had a first book. Etched more sharply into my memory than my first kiss, this book had been my magical awakening.”
I went into this book ready to geek out. I mean, seriously, seriously, geek out. The story opens on Isaac Vainio, a cataloger at a library in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. But he's not just a librarian, he's a libriomancer. Isaac could perform a very specific kind of magic: he could reach into books and pull out anything that appeared within the pages (restricted only by the size of the page). He got into a bit of trouble in his job as a libriomancer, so he's been benched; his only connection to magic now is cataloging books for his library, but also for the magical organization he used to work for.

Then he gets attached by Meyerii vampires (also known as sparklers) and finds himself in a magical war between Libriomancers and vampires, a mysterious enemy, and the disapperance of Johann Gutenberg (inventor of the printing press and founder of the Libriomancer organization), with only a sexy dryad and a fire spider there to help him.

In theory, this book should have been an uber-awesome, bibliophile geekfest. I wanted to love it. It referenced some of my favorite things, like Narnia, Doctor Who, and the very idea of reaching inside of books. And while the book wasn't "bad," it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. I just couldn't get engaged in the story. It did pick up toward the climax, and some really cool things happened during that part of the book, but it was a bit of an effort to get there.

This is an adult title, and there are some adult themes (though it stays PG / PG-13), but it's worth a look if you're a geeky bibliophile like myself. However, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde is similar in theme, but superior in...well, everything.

Meg-A-Rae Episode 19: A Very Special New Year's Episode

In this episode of Meg-A-Rae, Meg and talk about all the amazing, stupendous, mega-awesome books that are coming out in 2013. We are super-excited about these great new titles. Seriously, 2013 is going to be a fantastic year for reading and we can't wait to get started!!!

Join us next time as we discuss the classics and how non-boring they can be!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 Reading Retrospective

2012 was a big reading year for me and the majority of the books I read were awesome YA novels. So here's a look back at some of my favorites! Note: these are books I read in 2012, not necessarily books published in 2012, though there are some of those, too!

We'll start with the characters:

My favorite female character comes from Sarah Rees Brennans Unspoken. Kami Glass is spunky, clever, and fearless. Her dialogue is a cross between Gilmore Girls and Easy A. I wish I had been like her when I was in high school!

Runner Up: Jennifer Strange from Jasper Fforde's The Last Dragonslayer. She's another fearless female who is a sense of normalicy when surrounded by the absurd.

My favorite male character is Uncle Mort from Gina Damico's Croak series. He's not the main character from the book, but he's the cool guy who show's Lex a world she didn't know existed. He's a brilliant inventor, knows much more than he's telling, and he drives a motorcycle. He's the cool uncle we all kinda wish we had.

I'm going to go a bit outside the box on this one and select Mori and Hunny from the manga Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori. Mori and Hunny are cousins. Mori is the tall, strong, silent type. Hunny is teeny, loves sweets and his teddy bear, and loves his cousin like a little boy loves a big brother. However, both boys are seventeen and ninjas. Hunny is considered one of the most dangerous weapons in the world and Mori is right behind him. The dichotomy is what makes them so fun and utterly lovable.

The steamiest romance I read was found in the pages of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Karou and Akiva are irresistibly drawn to each other, even though Akiva has been sent to destroy Karou's family and is a threat to her life. It's very much a Romeo and Juliet type of love story, but the ending for this couple is less sure. There may be hope for them, but we're unsure of that hope by the end of the first book. Luckily, this story is part of a series!

Runners Up: Lex and Driggs from Croak. They may be Grim Reapers, but these two teens still make make-out time a priority!

The Best Romance of 2012 for me was that of Kami and Jared in Unspoken. While they're not exactly having a romance, they certainly have very strong feelings for one another. It's hard not to when they've grown up in each other's heads. They've been speaking telepathically to each other since they were born; however, they didn't know that the other actually existed until the opening of the story. Now that they've met in real life, they have to separate and define the feelings they have for each other while fighting against an evil that's attacking their town.
Runners Up: Lex and Driggs from Croak. Sure, they make out a lot, but they also have each other's backs, and that's what's really important.



Katniss is kind of impossible to beat as Toughest Heroine. The Hunger Games' tribute fights to survive in a disturbing vision of the future. But she does more than that, her care for other tributes and her disgust for the Capital's policies make her more than a warrior, she becomes a revolutionary.

This award has to go to Gatlin, the small Southern town where Beautiful Creatures takes place. Gatlin takes on a life of it's own as the living residence of Lena and her uncle, the suffocating prison for Ethan, a place where outsiders are unwelcome, and a living embodiment of the South in the Civil War.
Now, to move on to my favorites in genre offings and plots!

Rot & Ruin beats out The Hunger Games by a very narrow divide. Both are rather terrifying but Rot & Ruin also has zombies - and they're not even the worst threat to our heroes. The future is grim indeed, and let's just be glad it's only a brilliant figment of Jonathan Maberry's very vivid imagination!


Ok, so best may not be quite the right word in terms of the future in Cinder, but despite the obvious problems in this post-apocalyptic world, it was still really cool! Come on, Cinderella is a cyborg fighting enemies from the moon!

This award goes to The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman. This story begins in the States and then travels to Europe, where it spends a lot of time in Prague. The book is full of intrigue and danger, and the international journey is the icing on the mystery cake!

This award is easy - it goes to Hourglass (and its sequel, Timeless) by Myra McEntire. The story starts out with a girl who thinks she's crazy because she can see dead people. But she's not seeing ghosts, she's seeing time ripples. Turns out, she has the capacity to travel through time, which is awesome. This series is so full of win, I can barely stand it!
The Last Dragonslayer takes place in an alternate reality UNunited Kingdom. In this world, magic is fading, but that doesn't stop Jennifer Strange, manager of a magical employment agency, from working tirelessly to get her wizards jobs. But there's a sudden surge in magic and there's a prophecy: the Last Dragon will be slayed by the Last Dragonslayer. Magic infuses this story from top to bottom and the book would be nothing without the magic, which is why this book gets the award.



I love books with a sense of humor. A number of the books I read this year had their funny, snarky moments, like Unspoken, Croak, and Hourglass. But the winner of this category is a straight-up comedy piece. The Last Dragonslayer is funny from the first page. From the character names (Full Price, and his brother Half Price), to the odd creatures (Jennifer's "pet" Quarkbeast that makes "quark" noises), to the character interactions, the book was funny all the time.
Runner Up: Ouran High School Host Club. This Rom-Com was beautifully funny. The characters are silly, yet endearing, which was a lovely combination.
Finally, this is an award for the book I loved so much that I wish it had come from my brain. Annndd...I couldn't come up with just one. So the Book I Wish I Wrote award, aka My Favorite Book, goes to Unspoken and The Last Dragonslayer.
Unspoken is a truly lovely book. Honestly, it has some of the best dialogue that I've come across in a long time. It's clever, quick, and fun, and a great introduction to the story. Then it takes a turn for the gothic, and these characters that you grew to love so quickly are put in danger, and you really care. I adore everything about this book, except for the wait until Book #2 is released.
The Last Dragonslayer is just so much fun that it makes me want to hug it to my chest and skip around with it. Maybe even snuggle it like a teddy bear when I sleep. My love for this book is strong, and I'm actually considering importing the sequel in from the UK rather than wait for a US release.
Thank you to the wonderful authors who made this such a great year of reading! I can't wait to see what 2013 reading has to offer!