Hi everyone,

This Christmas season is coming into full swing and I’m finding myself busier than I was during the school year. Lots of family get togethers and then I’m heading to Florida with my friends and husband between Christmas and New Years. That being said I’m finding it difficult to find the time to blog, let alone read. So I’ll be taking a holiday hiatus from now until January  5th. Hopefully I’ll have great book reviews lined up for then, so please don’t forget about me and check back in the New Year.

I wish everyone happy holidays!

Love Katie

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Coming Soon to a Library Near You (5)

Coming Soon to a Library Near You is a weekly feature inspired by Jill at Breaking the Spine that looks at upcoming books.

This week’s book:  The Red Umbrella

Author: Christina Gonzalez

Release Date: May 11, 2010

From Amazon:

The Red Umbrella is the moving tale of a 14-year-old girl’s journey from Cuba to America as part of Operation Pedro Pan—an organized exodus of more than 14,000 unaccompanied children, whose parents sent them away to escape Fidel Castro’s revolution.
 
In 1961, two years after the Communist revolution, Lucía Álvarez still leads a carefree life, dreaming of parties and her first crush. But when the soldiers come to her sleepy Cuban town, everything begins to change. Freedoms are stripped away. Neighbors disappear. Her friends feel like strangers. And her family is being watched.
 
As the revolution’s impact becomes more oppressive, Lucía’s parents make the heart-wrenching decision to send her and her little brother to the United States—on their own.
 
Suddenly plunked down in Nebraska with well-meaning strangers, Lucía struggles to adapt to a new country, a new language, a new way of life. But what of her old life? Will she ever see her home or her parents again? And if she does, will she still be the same girl?
 
The Red Umbrella is a moving story of country, culture, family, and the true meaning of home.

Book trailer

I love this trailer, seldom are they so good that they make me want to read a book more than I already do.

Book: Fallen

Author: Lauren Kate

Released: TODAY!!

From Amazon:

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti

“The first thing I learned about Travis Becker was that he parked his motorcycle on the front lawn. You could see the tracks of it all the way up that rolling hill, cutting deeply into the beautiful, golf course like grass. That should have told me all I needed to know right there.”

Ruby McQueen has just fallen in love for the first time. Travis Becker is every mother’s nightmare with his reckless behaviour, motorcycle and illegal habits, but Ruby adores him and she likes the way he makes her feel. In an attempt to keep Ruby distracted from Travis, her mother invites her to a book club for the elderly women in her library. While Ruby might not be excited to begin with, when the group finds out that one of the members inspired a love story they are reading she becomes fully committed. Inspired by the thought of love and a sense of adventure the book club sets off on a wild adventure to reunite the old lovers and Ruby comes to understand what true love and friendship really mean.

Honey, Baby, Sweetheart is a light-hearted and deeply moving read. While some might consider this a slow moving novel, the layers of story and the quality of characters keep the reader captivated. Ruby is hilarious and charming, and her attraction to the bad boy completely relatable. Also, the Cassarole Queens provide an uplifting look at generation that is often left out of YA fiction. Calettie did an excellent job of demonstrating the rich possibilities in relationships between seniors and teens. The narration is fun and at times poetic in its insightfulness. One of the real strengths of this book is Calettie’s ability to set up stand out scenes, that in their commonness, are beautiful (such as Ruby’s mom and her brother playing cards outside her door when she locks herself in the room, or Harold’s snowflake PJ’s). This book comes highly recommended.

You might like Honey, Baby Sweetheart if you enjoy books with: a more down to earth feel instead of an action packed plot, a character that you can really identify with, a realistic feel to them.

Other books by Deb Caletti: The Queen of Everything, Six Rules of Maybe, The Nature of Jade, Wild Roses and The Fortunes of Indigo Skye.

If you enjoyed Honey Baby Sweetheart you might also like: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen, Two-way Street by Lauren Barnholdt and Bloom by Elizabeth Scott

Rating: 5Q 4P JS

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Zombies as the new Vampire?

Honestly, I don’t get it.

Vampires have been popular and hot since Interview with the Vampire, probably before. I read about them as a teen and loved them. I watched Buffy and secretly wished that Spike was real. The guys are usually the ultimate bad boy, the girls tend to kick ass. They’re usually wealthy, very educated, many have travelled the world.

Zombies….they’re just dead.

I do enjoy a good Zombie book or movie where the Zombies are trying to kill you (slowly of course) but would I want to date one? I think it’s the falling off skin, slow movement and lack of intellect that turns me off. I haven’t actually read any books yet that have painted Zombies in a positive light. I did just buy Generation Dead, which I plan to read over Christmas. Maybe it will change my mind about Zombies, because right now they’re still just gross.

Wikipedia article for Zombies and Wikipedia article for Vampires

 Vampires vs Zombies (click on the pictures to see them bigger)

 

I guess some girls do really want a Zombie boyfriend…

There are also tons of YA Zombie fiction.

Zombies for Zombies: Advice & Etiquette for The Living Dead by David Murphy, Zombie Haiku: Good Poetry for your Brains by Ryan Mecum, Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby

Pride & Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, Generation Dead by Daniel Waters, Generation Dead: Kiss of Life by Daniel Waters

Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks, Soulles by Christopher Golden

Zombie Blondes by Brian James, Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

You are so Undead to Me by Stacey Jay, Never Slow Dance with a Zombie byEnrich Van Lowe

Coming Soon to a Library Near You (4)

Coming Soon to a Library Near You is a weekly feature inspired by Jill at Breaking the Spine that looks at upcoming books.

This week’s book: Bleeding Violet

Author: Dia Reeves 

Release Date: January 5, 2010

From Barnes and Noble:

Love can be a dangerous thing….

Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna is tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home.

But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna – she is far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town only two things are certain: anything can happen and no one is safe.

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

It’s the summer of 1793 and Mattie lives with her mom and grandpa above their coffee shop in downtown Philadelphia. Like many kids her age Mattie spends most of her time avoiding chores and thinking about boys – well one boy in particular. Then a fever the likes of which Philadelphia has never seen takes hold of the city. When the fever hits close to home Mattie and her grandfather flee the city. Mattie will have to face her biggest fears, be more resourceful than she ever has been before and quickly learn how to survive in a city destroyed by the illness.

This is another great historical fiction by Laurie Halse Anderson. It is a great introduction to a time in American history that not everyone may be familiar with. It is well researched, and includes snippets from newspapers, letters and journals as well as an information appendix. While some might find historical fiction boring, this is simply not the case with Fever 1793. Fast paced and exciting, the reader will be at the edge of their seat wondering what will happen to Mattie and whether she will survive. Laurie Halse Anderson’s strength as an author lies not in a collection of strong and equal characters, but rather in one strong central character. This is also true of Fever 1793. Mattie is not only relatable in that she acts in ways that teen girls today can identify with, but also in her humour and sarcasm.  Those interested in a strong character or a strong historical setting will really appreciate this book. I really enjoyed it as it was both fun and informative. It comes highly recommended.

Other books by Laurie Halse Anderson: check my review for Chains

If you like reading American historical fiction from this time period, you might also enjoy: Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Year of the Hangman by Gary  Blackwood, Blood on the River by Elisa Lynn Carbone, Besty Zane: The Rose of Fort Henry by Lynda Durrant, Soldier’s Secret by Shelia Solomon Klass, Just Jane by William Lavender

If you enjoyed reading about a plague, you might also enjoy: Time of the Rabies by Robert Laxalt, Last Child by Michael Spooner, The Great Death by John Smelcer

Non-fiction Connection: An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 by Jim Murphy

Rating: 5Q 3.5P MJS

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