Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Review: The Hunger Games

So, apparently... I'm late to the party... again. I've been told by countless friends and bloggers that I need to read THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins. My best friend raved about it. But... dystopian books really aren't my thing. I decided to pick it up anyway, and it's been sitting on my shelf for a couple years.

With the release of MOCKINGJAY and the frenzy surrounding it, I decided to start reading. As with other dystopian novels, I had a hard time getting into the book. Figuring out what their world was like and trying to get a grasp on the situation. All I can say is... I'm really glad I don't live in this world.

A boy and girl from each district are chosen every year to fight to the death in a televised event. All contestants range from ages 12 to 18. And only one can survive. Katniss volunteered to go to The Hunger Games, in the place of her little sister, Prim. And Peeta was chosen to go along as well to represent District 12. There is an interesting dynamic between these two characters. It's written from Katniss' point of view, so you don't always know what Peeta's thinking. But then, you don't always know exactly what Katniss is thinking, either.

They are given the royal treatment as they prepare for the games, and their mentor, a previous winner from District 12, is a drunk. (Although I did really enjoy Haymitch). Their team tries to prepare them. They get tossed into an arena and are expected to kill every other teen there. How can anyone be prepared for that?

So, yeah... this book definitely didn't seem like something I'd enjoy reading. But the writing was fantastic. I enjoyed many of the characters and look forward to getting to know them better, especially Gale. A few scenes made me weepy, and once made me actually cry. While I liked the book, I didn't love it as many of my friends did. But I'm definitely glad I took the time to read it, and I already pulled CATCHING FIRE from my shelf. I definitely recommend it.

I loved the names in this book, especially Katniss Everdeen.

There are three "teams" fans of this series has chosen: Team Peeta, Team Gale, and Team Katniss. I see a lot of people on Peeta's team, but I don't feel Gale was given a good enough shot. So I'm reserving my right to choose a team affiliation until later. Temporarily though, I'm Team Katniss.

Down with the Capitol!


Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

I looked for the official book trailer, but could not find one. There might not be one, but this video is great, so if you haven't read it, you'll get a sense of the excitement and action included.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hunger Games Contest Winners!

Thank you all so much for entering to win THE HUNGER GAMES and CATCHING FIRE. Just today I reached 200 followers, so I swung by Borders and purchased a copy of MOCKINGJAY to add. The first place winner will get all three books, a mockingjay pin, keychain, and bookmark, as well as The Hunger Games bracelets that arrived in my mail box today!

The second place winner will both get a mockingjay keychain and pin. The third and fourth place winners will both receive a mockingjay pin.

First place winner: Heather
Second place winner: starinatstars03
Third place winner: allthewiser
Fourth place winner: Joyce Lanksy

Congrats, and look for an email in your inbox later tonight. If you didn't leave your email you have 48 hours to contact me, or I re-draw.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Meeting Authors: PAYA 2010 (and giveaway)

Contest closed. Winner announced soon!

Yesterday was the first annual PAYA Festival… Bring YA to PA. I woke up at 5:30 AM to pick up my friend, Melissa of Surviving Writing a Book, and drive us both to West Chester, PA. We’re from the DC area, so the trip was almost 3 hours long. She had signed up for a writing workshop, which started at 10:00. I’m glad I’m paranoid about being early, because when I arrived at Melissa’s, she was still in bed. Apparently, she needs a louder alarm. We left her house around 7:00 and arrived at 9:40, which ended up being pretty good timing.

Melissa took the Listen and Critique Workshop, and I got to listen in. There were six authors (Amy Brecount White, Shannon Delany, Jeri Smith-Ready, Stephanie Kuehnert, Josh Berk, and Jon Skovron) who talked to us about different points of writing, all important. They gave tips on choosing a topic for your book, the rough draft and editing, working with your agent, editor, and the rest of your team and more. Listening to their stories was really helpful because it gave me an idea of what it’ll be like when I’m working on this. About halfway through, we broke up into groups to work on the first three pages of each members’ manuscript. Jon, Amy, and Shannon had some great advice, and even though I didn’t bring what I’m working on, I learned a lot that’ll help me. I also think I’ll be a better Beta-writer. Here I come with my red pen KNIGHTS OF AVALON.

If you're interested in hearing these author's amazing tips, check it out here.

We had a bit of time between the workshop and the signing. They broke the signing up into two hour-long blocks. The first hour had some great authors signing. I was excited to meet Shannon Delany. She signed my book, as well as Erin’s (who won a copy on my blog a few weeks ago). She had a great set-up with her buttons, bookmarks, and a stuffed werewolf standing guard. I moved down the line to Stephanie Kuehnert. I wish I had gotten a better picture. Her top was fantastic, and I want one like it. Anyway, she told me how much she appreciated my review of I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE. I review books because I enjoy it, and I want others to enjoy the reviews as well. But it’s great to know when authors enjoy my reviews because it means I can give back a little bit.

Next up was Dianne Salerni. Her book, WE HEAR THE DEAD, is one of my new favorite books. It was great getting to talk with her in person. She had postcards, bookmarks, posters, and shirts. I told her how much I loved the cover. She said it had to grow on her because the dress that Maggie was wearing on the cover was definitely not accurate of the time period, which was important to her. She’s right, but I love it anyway. She also described the cover idea. You see Maggie’s back, as you stand behind her on stage. You see the curtains and her confident stance. The spooky writing is supposed to be indicative of the spookiness of communicating with the spirits. And because the view is from behind Maggie, you’re being let in on some of the secrets the general public doesn’t know. Is she talking with spirits… or pulling of a huge prank? The cover is stunning, if not 1850’s accurate. Look for an interview with Dianne Salerni to appear at Aine’s Realm, soon.

Stephanie Kuehnert and Jeri Smith-Ready

I also got STRUTS AND FRETS signed by Jon Skovron. He was very funny, both here and in the workshop. We chatted a bit. He talked about his next book, MISFIT, a book about demons to hit the shelves in a little more than a year. He’s working on the sequel to MISFIT. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to read his book, but I’ve heard nothing but good things and am greatly looking forward to it.

Sitting at the round table was Jennifer Murgia, Cyn Balog, and Shelena Shorts. I got some books signed and swag. Cyn Balog talked a bit about her upcoming book, STARSTRUCK, which will be released in 2011. My Jeri Smith-Ready and Jennifer Hubbard books were already signed, and they were lovely to talk to.

The room got so hot and crowded that we moved out to get some air and look at the art. The signing was in the Center for Performing and Fine Arts, and there was some interesting and amazing art covering every spot of are wall. There was one drawing so amazing, I wanted a copy. I should’ve taken a picture.

The next signing began, and a huge thanks goes to Amy Brecount White who procured a fan for the hot, stuffy room. She was pleasant to talk to, as always. She was seat by Josh Berk who wrote THE DARK DAYS OF HAMBURGER HALPIN. Melissa bought me a copy to get signed by him. We met his dad in the used book sale room. He plugged his son’s book because it was so fantastic. And “of course,” he told us, “I’m not just saying that because he’s my son.” Both were very funny and charismatic. Josh and I talked a bit about Scott Pilgrim.

I’m currently reading WATERSMEET by Ellen Jensen Abbott, and I tried not to gush about how much I was enjoying it. While I want authors to know when they’re books have been, or are being enjoyed, I don’t want to fall all over myself and fangirl around them. I also met Meg Medina, who was sitting nearby, signing copies of her book, MILAGROS: GIRL FROM AWAY, and promoting her new book that comes out next year, TIA ISA WANTS A CAR. Her books focus on characters of latin origin. She was quite lovely to talk to.

Next I met Holly Nicole Hoxter and got my brand new, shiny copy of THE SNOWBALL EFFECT signed. I’d seen it around, but never felt compelled to pick it up. But when I did, I knew I had to read it. Teen authors, Chelsea Swiggett and Kieryn Nicolas signed as well as Christine Marciniak. Andrew Auseon had some trouble getting to the event, but thankfully he arrived. To be honest, the place was hiding. It’s a center for the arts but it was in an industrial complex, which caused us a mild panic when we first arrived and thought I had typed the address in my GPS wrong. Anyway, I ordered FREAK MAGNET two weeks ago so I could get it signed at PAYA. It arrived in the mail around 2PM, while I was at the signing. Bad timing, USPS. When it wasn’t in the mail box on Friday, I knew it’d be here on Saturday.

I met two lovely women from Fallen Archangel, the HUSH, HUSH fansite, and many other book bloggers. There was a raffle for some awesome books. I didn’t win. Aww… but Melissa got a huge swag pack filled with signed bookmarks, postcards, a journal, and a few other goodies. I was allowed to stop in the librarian only room to grab a few books to donate to my work library. I work with autistic adults, and most of our guys love MG and YA novels. I think they’ll particularly like THEODOSIA AND THE EYES OF HORUS.

There was another writing workshop, this one for teen writers. But since Melissa and I are well out of our teens and three hours from home after being awake for over eight hours with no food, we decided it was time to roll. Lunch at Burger King at 4:00, coke slurpees from 7-eleven, and three hours later, we were safe at home and resting. Well, I was resting; I’m sure Melissa was walking her dogs and then playing with her many cats.

Mmm... Slurpee...


And now the moment you've been waiting for... I picked up an extra copy of WE HEAR THE DEAD by Dianne Salerni. I also picked up swag from her and other authors mentioned above. In addition, you'll also win a WE HEAR THE DEAD inspired charm bracelet, made by me. (The bracelets will be available in my Etsy shop, Aine's Charms, at a later date.) Want to win? Comment on the post. Want extra entries?

+2 for following me on Twitter (@AineFey) - leave username
+2 for following Dianne on Twitter (@diannesalerni) - leave username
+1 for Tweeting (up to five tweets) - leave links
+2 for following Dianne's blog

Each extra does not need to be in the same reply. Contest is open to addresses in US and Canada (if you live outside of that, you can win, but must pay shipping... sorry), ages 13 and up. Please leave your email in a reply so that may contact you. Winners will be posted with my first author interview. You have until Saturday, September 4, 10PM, EST to enter. Good luck!

You have a chance to win more books from this great event at In High Spirits, Dianne's blog. So there's no excuse not to follow it!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Book Review: We Hear the Dead

With the approaching festival, PAYA, coming up, I decided to check out the authors and purchase a selection of books that interested me most. WE HEAR THE DEAD by Dianne K Salerni was at the top of the list. A good friend of mine is very into spiritualism and has given a few workshops on it. He has talked in length about The Fox Sisters, so when I heard that this book was a historical novel based on their life, I decided I had to read it.

I have to admit that I don't usually read historical fiction. It was set in the mid 1800's, and while lines like "It is expected that a wife give up her interests for her husband's" may be accurate to the time, it made me want to hurt the people who said them. And the poor girl couldn't even take a walk with her beau without a chaperon. I am so glad I didn't have to live in that time. Whenever I’m asked what time period I’d want to live in if not this one, I always choose a time in the future. There was also some interesting bits on the underground railroad which was historically accurate to the time period.

I really liked the main character, Maggie Fox. The description I read made it seem like Kate Fox would narrate more than she did. She only had a few chapters here and there. Can I hope for a companion that focuses more on her? The oldest Fox sister, Leah, didn't narrate at all. The beginning of the book really sucked me in. Spiritualism, mediumship, communicating with the dead... it's something that has fascinated me for a long time. Whether these girls were really communicating with the dead remains to be seen. But seeing as how they've been dead themselves for more than a century, it's not likely we'll ever know the truth. However, if it was a hoax, it was never proven.

Ghosts, or spirits, began rapping on the walls of the home they lived in. They asked the ghosts questions while the ghosts rapped twice for yes and once for no. By creating the rapping, they passed along messages of the dead. It became a phenomenon and drew in interested people from all over. They accepted money to pass along love one's messages and created the religion known as spiritualism.

The novel traveled from the spiritualism movement into Maggie's romance with Elisha Kent Kane, a famous explorer. While this didn't interest me as much as the spirit rapping, it was well written, nicely told, and still very engaging. Maggie's teenage life definitely had its ups and downs. Living in high society while holding spirit circles and pulling away from it to gain approval of potential in-laws. I'm definitely very interested in learning more about these amazing ladies.
Whether you like historical fiction or not, this is definitely a wonderful read. I just finished it and kind of want to read it again.

Also, I need to gush about the cover a bit. I found out that this book was originally published a few years ago as HIGH SPIRITS: A TALE OF GHOSTLY RAPPING AND ROMANCE while WE HEAR THE DEAD came out just this past May, and I adore the new cover. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it in any stores. I think if it was, it would sell. How could you pass by and not pick it up?



I began the deception when I was too young to know right from wrong. Only with the passing of time did I come to understand the consequences of my actions.

I do not believe that I have ever intentionally deceived anyone. Maggie has a different understanding of the events that have happened. To her the spirits were always a game. For me they were my life's calling. I have no regrets.

It starts as a harmless prank...then one lie quickly grows into another. Soon Kate and Maggie Fox are swept into a dizzying flurry of national attention for their abilities to communicate with the dead. But living a lie is sometimes too much to handle, even if you have the best intentions. Based on a true story, We Hear the Dead reveals how secrets and lies can sometimes lead you to what's real and what's right. And how sometimes talking with the dead is easier than talking with the people around you.
And if you're interested, here is the trailer for WE HEAR THE DEAD. I love how Ms Salerni used old images of the Fox Sisters in making this. And on to other interesting news... a movie has been optioned. And check out Dianne Salerni's blog, In High Spirits.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Book Review: I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone

I picked up Stephanie Kuehnert's first novel at a used book store a year or so ago. I'd heard I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE was amazing, but it didn't really seem like my thing. But it was used and cheap, so I picked it up.

I met Stephanie Kuehnert back in June at ALA. Well... kinda... I was standing right next to her, but wasn't sure what to say. "Hi. I'm Andrea. I have your books on my shelf. No, I haven't read them." So instead I say nothing. But I get to meet her again. And with Bring YA to PA 2010 next Saturday, I bumped it up the TBR.

The first thing I have to say is... go buy it and read it now. It was fantastic. I read it in two days, finishing it late last night and cutting down on my sleep time. But it was worth it. I ordered a brand new copy to get signed (hopefully, it arrives on time) because I loved it so much I wanted one that wasn't beaten.

The main character, Emily Black, was abandoned by her mother. But it's a good thing she has such an amazing dad. She grows up in a small town, her best friend, Regan, the daughter of her mother's best friend, and they are kinda the talk of the town. Even as little kids, they are expected to be screw-ups, for lack of a better word, like their mothers. They start a band and dream of making it big, mostly just to get out of Carlisle, Wisconsin.

I really like Emily. Her life is very different than mine. Thankfully. She had it a lot more tough than I did. Imagine how hard it would be if your mom up and left when you were a tiny kid? I lost my mom at 24 under completely different circumstances, and it's really hard. Emily made a lot of choices I would never make. Things I didn't approve of, which made me want to throttle her from time to time.

But I also felt like I understood Emily. I might not have the tendency to turn to drugs and alcohol, but I definitely get her love of music. (I'm not familiar with a lot of the bands mentioned, but I'm definitely going to check them out.) And I feel like a lot of her opinions were the same: her tendency to get angry over little things, to feel threatened when it isn't always necessary, her propensity to lash out, the protectiveness she feels towards the people she cares about, and her inability to trust... especially with guys.

All in all, this book was fantastic. You get to see Emily grow up in her first person narrative and hear about her mother, Louisa's, troubles from her point of view. I could gush more, but I'm trying not to fangirl anymore as a general rule on the blog. =P


How fantastic is the cover!?!?


A raw, edgy, emotional novel about growing up punk and living to tell.
The Clash. Social Distortion. Dead Kennedys. Patti Smith. The Ramones.
Punk rock is in Emily Black's blood. Her mother, Louisa, hit the road to follow the incendiary music scene when Emily was four months old and never came back. Now Emily's all grown up with a punk band of her own, determined to find the tune that will bring her mother home. Because if Louisa really is following the music, shouldn't it lead her right back to Emily?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Book Faery (5)

I’ve been waiting a while for this one. I love the Jennifer Scales series!

RISE OF THE POISON MOON (Jennifer Scales book 5) by MaryJanice Davidson and Anthony Alongi

Jennifer's ex-boyfriend, werarachnid Skip Wilson, is out of control. His powers have grown as strong as his hunger for revenge, leaving her little choice but to confront him-hopefully without giving in to her own dark side...

And this one was on clearance!


Time is a funny thing in the hospital. In the mental ward. You lose track of it easily.

After six months in the Maryland Mental Health Unit, Kyra Sellers, a.k.a. Goth Girl, is going home. Unfortunately, she's about to find out that while she was away, she lost track of more than time. Kyra is back in black, feeling good, and ready to make up with the only person who's ever appreciated her for who she really is. But then she sees him. Fanboy. Transcended from everything he was into someone she barely recognizes. And the anger and memories come rushing back.

There's so much to do to people when you're angry. Kyra's about to get very busy.

And because I'm going to a big book signing with these authors, I used it as an excuse to buy these books

ANGEL STAR by Jennifer Murgia

Seventeen-year-old Teagan McNeel falls for captivating Garreth Adams and soon discovers that her crush has an eight-point star etched into the palm of his right hand-the mark of an angel.

But where there is light, dark follows, and she and Garreth suddenly find themselves vulnerable to a dark angel's malicious plan that could threaten not only her life, but the lives of everyone she knows.

Divinely woven together, Angel Star takes readers on a reflective journey when one angel's sacrifice collides with another angel's vicious ambition in a way that is sure to have readers searching for their own willpower.

WE HEAR THE DEAD by Dianne Salerni

In upstate New York in 1848, two young sisters, Maggie and Kate Fox, created a spiritual hoax to frighten a detested cousin. Through eerie rapping sounds produced by cracking joints, they convinced their family and then the whole town that they could communicate with ghosts. What began as a childhood prank turned into their adult livelihood, and the sisters became famous, even “rapping” for First Lady Jane Pierce. Alternating narration between Maggie and Kate, Salerni imagines the young adult years of these closely bonded, very different siblings: Maggie feels guilty for their trickery, while Kate believes that she has a sixth sense and has never “intentionally deceived anyone.” Salerni details the sisters' performances and their troubled family dynamics, but much of the book's later half focuses on a passionate, fraught romance between Maggie and a wealthy explorer, leaving Kate's story underdeveloped. Still, the events, based in fact, are inherently fascinating, and older readers may want to move on to the several adult books, listed in an appended bibliography, about the wily and tragic Foxes.

WATERSMEET by Ellen Jensen Abbott

From her birth, Abisina has been outcast--for the color of her eyes and skin, and for her lack of a father. Only her mother's status as the village healer has kept her safe. But when a mythic leader arrives, Abisina's life is ripped apart. She escapes alone to try to find the father and the home she has never known. In a world of extremes, from the deepest prejudice to the greatest bonds of duty and loyalty, Abisina must find her own way and decide where her true hope lies.


Told in a voice that’s honest, urgent, and hilarious, Struts & Frets will resonate not only with teenage musicians but with anyone who ever sat up all night listening to a favorite album, wondering if they’d ever find their place in the world.

Music is in Sammy’s blood. His grandfather was a jazz musician, and Sammy’s indie rock band could be huge one day—if they don’t self-destruct first. Winning the upcoming Battle of the Bands would justify all the band’s compromises and reassure Sammy that his life’s dream could become a reality. But practices are hard to schedule when Sammy’s grandfather is sick and getting worse, his mother is too busy to help either of them, and his best friend may want to be his girlfriend.

When everything in Sammy’s life seems to be headed for major catastrophe, will his music be enough to keep him together?

Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

This is definitely one of the best movies I've seen this year. And I'm pretty sure this was Michael Cera's best film to date. While this movie may not appeal to everyone, if you like action, comic books, and/or video games, this one is not to be missed.

In general, I'm not a fan of comedies. And on the off-chance that I do see a comedy, I might snicker a couple of times, but rarely do I laugh out loud. I was laughing every 2-3 minutes, at least. So was everyone else in the theater. I also heard a few guys, in a group of teens, shout out "cool" or "awesome" a few times. Everyone was walking out of the theater laughing.

And I can honestly say that I haven't seen a movie quite like this one before. It was very unique, and the effects were fun!

Scott, Ramona, Young Neil, Knives, Kim, Stephen Stills

If you're a fan of the comics, I'm sure you'll love the movie just as much. They stayed true to the series. All 6 books were put into one movie. A lot of times that doesn't work so well, because so much is left out. But there was very little left out of this one. And there were very few changes. I read the entire series in the past week and a half. What little changes there were, were not very noticeable and didn't bother me at all.

And in case you've been living under a rock, and haven't seen the trailer, here it is!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Book Review: 13 to Life

I had heard good things about 13 TO LIFE by Shannon Delany, so I was excited to read it. And it got bumped up the TBR when I learned she was going to be at a large book signing I'm going to in a few weeks.

I really enjoyed this book. I'm not completely sure I like the main character, Jessie. I wanted to like her more than I did. I liked her a lot better at the end, so I have high hopes for book 2, SECRETS AND SHADOWS. Despite my problems with some of her choices, I did feel for her. She lost her mom, and that's something that I've been dealing with the past few years. There was one scene that did me in, and I had to put the book down til I could stop crying.

I did, however, like Pietr, Catherine, and Max Rusakova. I'm interested in learning more about them, which I'm sure we'll get in the next installment of this series. Another character that I'm very interested in seeing in the next book is Sarah. I'm curious as to what changes may occur with her.

All in all, it was a very good book, and I really can't wait for the next book!

Also... in case you missed it, I'm giving away a signed copy here ---->


Everything about Jessie Gillmansen’s life changed when her mother died. Now even her hometown of Junction is changing. Mysterious dark things are happening. All Jessie wants is to avoid more change. But showing a hot new guy around Junction High, she’s about to discover a whole new type of change. Pietr Rusakova is more than good looks and a fascinating accent—he’s a guy with a dangerous secret. And his very existence is sure to bring big trouble to Jessie’s small town. It seems change is the one thing Jessie can’t avoid…

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Second Hand Haul (2)

I picked up a lot of great reads recently. TROLL FELL and TROLL MILL by Katherine Langrish are some of my favorite books. And since I have TROLL BLOOD in hardback, I decided to grab these when I found them, so my set would match. I highly recommend this series.

TROLL FELL by Katherine Langrish

An exciting adventure-filled story of Peer Ulfsson and his dog, Loki, Peer's hideous uncles Baldur and Grim Grimsson, and their hideous dog, Grendel, and the trolls of Troll Fell. Peer Ulfsson stood miserably at his father's funeral pyre, watching the sparks whirl up like millions of shining spirits streaking away into the dark. But someone else is also at the funeral. Peer's half-uncle, Baldur Grimsson. Peer watches helplessly as Uncle Baldur sells his father's property and pockets the money. Peer is then forced to move away from the world he knows in Hammerhaven, and live with his two half-uncles at their mill near Troll Fell. Peer hopes his other uncle will be more welcoming and less ferocious than Baldur, but Baldur is an identical twin, and Grim Grimsson is just as mean-spirited and greedy as his brother. Peer lives a life of servitude, with only the company of his faithful dog, Loki, until he meets spirited Hilde, whose family farm on Troll Fell, and Nis, his uncles' house spirit. Between them, they must foil a plot by the Grimsson brothers to sell one boy and one girl to the trolls who live on Troll Fell.

TROLL MILL by Katherine Langrish

Fifteen-year-old Peer Ulfsson is haunted by his past. Forced to live with his evil uncles under the eerie shadows of Troll Fell, he nearly fell prey to their plan to sell children to the trolls. Now Peer lives with his friend Hilde's family, but can he ever truly belong? And will Hilde ever share his deeper feelings?

One rainy night, Peer watches in shock as his neighbor Kersten pushes her baby daughter into his arms and then disappears into the sea. Rumor says that Kersten is a seal woman who has returned to her ocean home, and the millpond witch, Granny Green-teeth, seems intent on taking the "seal baby." Peer also discovers that the mill, abandoned when his uncles joined the troll kingdom, is running again -- all on its own?

With angry trolls, mysterious seal people, a mischievous house spirit, and three unusual babies in the mix, Peer and Hilde have their hands full and more! Katherine Langrish returns to the magical world of her acclaimed debut, troll fell, in this second story set in an extraordinary land by the sea filled with Viking legends and lore.

SIXTEEN by Megan McCafferty

Dating! Drama! Driving!

Remember what it was like to be sixteen? Whether it was the year your teeth were finally free of braces or the year you were discovered by the opposite sex, that magical, mystical age is something you will never forget. A compilation of short stories inspired by all the angst, melodrama, and wonderment of being sixteen.

Sarah Dessen’s “Infinity” is about a girl confronting two major milestones: getting her driver’s license and losing her virginity. The Dead Girls in Jacqueline Woodson’s “Nebraska 99” have already decided to “do it” and must now cope with being teenage mothers. And Carolyn Mackler’s “Mona Lisa, Jesus, Chad, and Me” explores whether friendship can survive when partying and prayer clash. Also included is a new Jessica Darling story by Megan McCafferty about the last fifteen minutes Jessica spends—or rather, doesn’t spend—with her best friend, Hope, who is leaving Pineville.

Featuring stories by Steve Almond, M. T. Anderson, Julianna Baggott, Cat Bauer, Emma Forrest, Tanuja Desai Hidier, David Levithan, Sarah Mlynowski, Sonya Sones, Zoe Trope, Ned Vizzini, and Joseph Weisberg, these hilarious, poignant, and touching tales are perfect for both those who have yet to reach that milestone and those who want to reminisce about their “sweetest” year.

GRL 2 GRL by Julie Anne Peters

In this honest, emotionally captivating short story collection, renowned author and National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters offers a stunning portrayal of young women as they navigate the hurdles of relationships and sexual identity. From the young lesbian taking her first steps toward coming out to the two strangers who lock eyes across a crowded train, from the transgender teen longing for a sense of self to the girl whose abusive father has turned her to stone, Peters is the master of creating characters whose own vulnerability resonates with readers and stays with them long after the last page is turned. Grl2grl shows the rawness of teenage emotion as young girls become women and begin to discover the intricacies of love, dating and sexuality.


Being the new girl is toughjust ask sixteen-year-old Rio Jones. A New York transplant, Rio has no clue how shes going to fit in at her fancy new private school in Southern California. Plus, being late, overdressed, and named after a Duran Duran song doesnt help make the first day any easier. Then, Rio meets Kristi. Beautiful, rich, and a cheerleader, Kristi is the queen bee of Newport Beach. And, Kristi isnt friends with just anyone, so Rio is thrilled when shes invited to be part of the most exclusive, popular cliquea world of underage drinking, drug dabbling, and hooking-up. At first, Rio is having a great time. But, as she becomes more immersed in this jet set crowd, Rio figures out there is one unspoken rule that her new friends forgot to mention: dont cross Kristi.


Nina, Mel and Avery have been best friends since they were tiny. But one summer can change everything. When Nina goes away for a month, she comes back to find the world has changed. Mel and Avery have their own secret: one Nina can't be part of.


Arthur's quest takes him into the heart of the forbidden city ...

Arthur's backyard looks like a peaceful, ordinary garden -- if you are human-sized, that is. But if you're half an inch tall, like the Minimoys, this backyard is a vast world where fierce battles are fought, ferocious monsters are faced, and one evil wizard, Maltazard the Cursed, rules with cruel power from his terrifying stronghold: Necropolis, the forbidden city.

Now ten-year-old Arthur -- magically transformed into a Minimoy -- and his Minimoy companions, brave Princess Selenia and mischievous Prince Betameche, must somehow find a way into this forbidden city. Their mission: to rescue Arthur's grandfather, recover a stolen treasure, and save the land of the Minimoys once and for all, before it's too late.

But once you're inside the forbidden city .... can you ever get out again?

ROBIN’S COUNTRY by Monica Furlong

Dummy, a mute servant boy, flees his cruel master, stumbles upon Robin Hood's secret hideaway, proceeds to unravel the mysteries of his own origins, and finds the opportunity to prove his bravery and worth.

BURIED FIRE by Jonathan Stroud

Deep in the English countryside, the unearthing of an ancient Celtic cross awakens an imprisoned dragon and unleashes a smoldering evil. Less than a mile away, 13-year-old Michael McIntyre falls asleep on a lush green hill, and wakes up with frightening and sinister new abilities. Michael possesses the four gifts of the dragon-and he's not the only one, nor is he the most powerful. The others, whose identities will be slowly revealed, offer Michael powers beyond his wildest dreams if he will keep their secret safe. Now he must choose: give up these astonishing but devastating new abilities and help his family and friends banish the evil that lies beneath their fragile earth, or join the others in their crusade to protect their gifts and set the dragon free - a choice that may well destroy everyone Michael loves. Those with power will stop at nothing to keep its secret, while those without it need Michael's protection to survive. Buried Fire combines elements of fantasy and mythology in a spellbinding tale of good versus evil.

THE LEAP by Jonathan Stroud

After her best friend, Max, drowns, Charlie Fletcher is overwhelmed with shock and grief. When she attempts to explain what happened that day at the Mill Pond, no one believes her. The doctors and her mother think she may be hallucinating, or worse-crazy. Even her sympathetic brother can't understand what is happening to her. Charlie nearly died trying to save Max and as an aftermath to this terrifying experience, Charlie begins to have incredibly vivid dreams, where she sees Max walking far in the distance in a strange land. She tries to catch up, but she can never reach him. Sleep soon becomes her only passion. But one night, after waking up from a dream with cuts and bruises, she realizes that her nighttime excursions are real. She alone has the power to hunt for Max. And she knows he's out there somewhere. To save him, she'll follow his trail wherever it goes-even beyond the limits of this world.

DEEP SECRET by Diana Wynne Jones

Rupert Venables is a Magid.

It's a Magid's job to oversee what goes on in the vast Multiverse. Actually, Rupert is really only a junior Magid. But he's got a king-sized problem. Rupert's territory includes Earth and the Empire of Korfyros. When his mentor dies Rupert must find a replacement. But there are hundreds of candidates. How is he supposed to choose? And interviewing each one could take forever.


What if he could round them all up in one place?