Friday, September 30, 2011

TGIF, or My Thoughts on Banning Books

This week's TGIF question is:  

Banned Books: How do you feel about the censorship of the freedom to read? Do you think the education system needs to be more strict on what children are exposed to in books?

Just so you know, this will be a long post. I bolded the big ideas.

Earlier this week I posted on twitter that banning books didn't bother me because parents can expose their children to whatever material they want to. They don't need to be limited by what's taught in school or available at the library. And a couple of people brought up the point that not every family can afford to buy books that aren't available publicly. And it really bothers me to think that young people might be kept from books or ideas that could inspire them, just because they didn't have the money. I'm still not sure what to make of that, but.... 

I've had mixed experiences with banned books when I was in school. Most I've had absolutely no problem with, but there was one book that really made me uncomfortable. And honestly, I don't remember it being the content so much as the way the material was presented and discussed in class. But I will always remember that feeling of dreading going to my English class, slouching my chair so I wouldn't be called on to read, and being very happy when that unit was over.

Of course, you don't need a book that's been banned to cause that kind of response in a student. With everything that young people face, it's impossible for teachers to predict how each person in their class will respond to material. I think that's why both sides in the banning debate will agree that parents should be allowed to veto books they don't think will work for their child. But a lot of people on the anti-banning side argue that one parent shouldn't have that ability to limit books for all students.

But I don't really agree with that. Because there are already individuals making those decisions for all students/patrons.  There's only so much money for public schools and libraries. There's no possible way that every book can be available publicly to every person. Someone has to decide how to use a school or library's limited resources. And it seems like the vast majority of people don't know who those people are. I go to my public library at least weekly, and I have no clue who (or how) they decide which books to acquire.

My library doesn't carry any books by Megan McCafferty (of Bumped and the Jessica Darling series fame). The John Green books are housed with the adult fiction, not the young adult. Is that because of content? I don't know. Who decided that? Again, no clue. If someone thought the library was carrying an inappropriate book, who would they talk to? I think you already know that I don't know the answer to that.

While I probably wouldn't ever try to remove a book from a school or library, I'm totally fine with other people wanting to do that. Schools and libraries are funded publicly (i.e. by taxes), so I'm ok with people who contribute financially wanting to have a say in how that money is spent. What if someone genuinely thought the limited funds should not go towards media they thought was offensive? They should just go with it, in the name of free speech? Free speech is so important in this country, but so is representation with taxation.

In the end, I have many thoughts and few answers. But I'm now curious how my library decides what books to buy. Maybe I'll have to ask around the next time I'm there.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shut Out Review

Shut Out
by Kody Keplinger

The Short Story
At Lissa's high school the soccer and football teams have an ongoing feud and no one can remember what started it. But when Lissa gets sick of coming in second to her football-playing boyfriend, she decides to end the rivalry for good. She and the other players' girlfriends go on strike - essential putting an end to whatever level of affection had been involved in their relationships. But things don't turn out at all like Lissa expected, as things become more about power than peace. Shut Out is an ambitious retelling but not free from assumptions and stereotypes. It's an excellent discussion book. 3.5/5

Come for the....
I first heard about Lysistrata before my senior year of high school, and thought it was sort of hilarious that wives would use withholding sex as a way to get their husbands to end a war. But looking back on it now, I realize I completely missed all the assumptions a play like that makes about men and women. I think the best parts of Shut Out were when the striking girls got together to talk about societal assumptions about girls and relationships. The idea that there is a socially acceptable range of experience that girls should have, and that it falls somewhere between "more than none" and "less than a lot" felt realistic and honest. I also appreciated that everyone wanted to be "normal" in their relationships, but that no one knew what normal was because most people don't talk about sex or affection honestly.

There is so much in the book that would make for great discussion topics with teens. I liked the idea of the girls having an opportunity to be honest with each other. I don't think that comes up much in real life. I did wish there had been more about why the girls did or didn't do what they did in their relationships, especially considering that some of them weren't happy about it. I also would have liked the book to be a bit more balanced in terms of how physical the girls were - it seemed more than I thought was realistic - but that's just another good point for discussion.

Don't Think About This Too Hard (No, actually think about this)
  • I felt like the ending fit the retelling of Lysistrata, but didn't address all of the issues brought up in the book. The girls did a good job of talking to each other about their feelings or ideas on sex, but it didn't look like they were going to share that with their boyfriends.
  • The strike felt really manipulative to me. Using affection as a means of getting people to do what you want is immature. I know that the book tried to tackle that idea, but it felt like too little, too late for me. And I think there's a lot that could have been done with the idea of girls using affection as a means of power in relationships.
  • The girls also point out stereotypes about girls and sex, but never challenge any of the assumptions or stereotypes about boys. I know you can't tackle everything in one book, but that would have been really interesting if it had been brought up.

The Big Three:
Language: frequent profanity, including the f-word
Sex and Stuff: this book is actually cleaner than I was expecting; discussion of sex and stuff, a couple of descriptive kissing scene
Violence: a kid has a rock thrown at him, a couple of mentions of hazing, but nothing descriptive

Just So You Know
I read an ARC of Shut Out as part of Around The World ARC Tours.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Some Utah Bookish Things

A couple weeks ago was the Utah Book Blogger Social. Suey from It's All About Books and Emily from Emily's Reading Room put the party together, and it was a lot of fun! There was a pot luck with some delicious things, a book exchange, and time to chat. Also, there were a bunch of Crossed ARCs up for grabs. (If you're a Utah blogger, you should totally come to these things!) The group was smaller, so I got the chance to talk to everyone a little. There really are some great bloggers around here!

And now you can put some faces with some great blogs:

 In green, with her back to the camera is Suey, then Jenny from Alternate Readality, Julia from Writing Jewels, Becky from One Literature Nut, Penelope from The Reading Fever, and Emily (and kiddo).
 Natasha from Maw Books, Lorren from The Story Girl, and Mr. Lorren. If my husband were home now he would remind me of Lorren's husband's name. They kept track of the BYU game for us. Scott. (good thing he's wearing a name tag)

Hey look, it's a better picture of Suey, Jenny, and Julia. There were a few more people there, but somehow I only managed to take three pictures.

Then this past Saturday, I went to the Forever Young Adult-created Provo book club. You guys, if you live in Utah County and want to join a book club, you should totally come! And if you don't live in UT check that link & see if there's a book club near you.

Saturday was only the second meeting, it's a small group, and it's not one of those "I don't want to go because I won't know anybody" type of deals. Lorren (from the social), Karen from Book Light Graveyard, me, and a really nice lady named Jamie made up the whole group.

So here's what you need to know:
FYA Provo book club
Next meeting: Saturday, Oct. 22 at 2 PM
At: The Cocoa Bean in Provo (by Burger Supreme)
The book of the month: The Book Thief

And we all know you either like The Book Thief or haven't read it yet. (I haven't read it yet, but I'm picking it up this week. Please tell me I'm not the only one)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Follow Friday

This week's super fun Follow Friday question is:

Q. Do you have a favorite series that you read over and over again? Tell us a bit about it and why you keep on revisiting it?

I've been known to reread a book immediately after I finished it if I really liked it. Like Jellicoe Road, or Sweethearts by Sara Zarr, or Matched, or Anna and the French Kiss. Usually because I read them in a day or two, and want to go back and enjoy them for a little longer.

But the series that I could read over and over again, (and I actually own it!) is Hunger Games. I could pick up any of those books, open to a random page, read and enjoy. Especially Catching Fire. It's got suspense, political drama, crazy fashion, Finnick, and kissing. What more could you want? Whenever I'm in a reading slump that's the book I pick up.

What's your go-to book? Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Read This: Goliath

by Scott Westerfeld

The Short Story 
World War I will hopefully be over soon for everyone aboard the Leviathan. But what will that mean for Deryn, who is a girl pretending to be a boy? Or Alek, the secret heir to the Austrian throne? And what lengths will they go to if it means stopping the war? New characters, new countries, new weapons, and a lot of adventures make Goliath an enjoyable ending to the Leviathan series. 4/5

Come for the...
mixing of fiction with real life. I recently read an interview where Scott Westerfeld talked about all the research he did for this series, including looking up little details about how widely available zippers were back in the early 1900's. You probably won't notice any of that detail as you read Goliath, but I really enjoyed the things that did stick out to me. One scene in particular had a news/film/camera man talking to Deryn about shooting the crew as they got off the ship. Her response is "You want to shoot them?" It seriously made me laugh much longer than it should have. The entire series has such interesting (and non-existent) technology and biology that it's a nice juxtaposition not having (very existent) TV and film. I really enjoyed the world Scott Westerfeld created.

But even more than the world-building, I loved the characters. After three books with them, I felt like I understood the different people and their motivations. Volger continued to be one of my favorites, even though he wasn't in the book much. I liked the inclusion of real people from history, like Nikola Tesla, William Randolph Hearst, and the girl reporter (whose name escapes me right now. Rogers, maybe?) I wouldn't have minded a little less of the new people in favor of more time with the old characters, but they added a sense of mystery and danger to the story.

Stay for the
flying; the beasties; the slang words; The Perils of Pauline; the illustrations; and the afterword, that spells out history from fiction.

Don't think about this too hard
  • I can't really say why without spoiling, but I was disappointed with the way Dr. Barlow's character was handled. I expected a lot more from her.
  • Occasionally the series (and especially this book) reminded me of Disney's Mulan. I know neither one invented the trope of a girl dressing as a boy for one reason or another, but I think the comparison is more unavoidable than it could have been.
  • The book started out a little slow for me. I think it took maybe 50-75 pages to really get into it.

The Big Three
Language: not an issue
Sex and Stuff: not an issue
Violence: this is set during World War I, so lots of fighting, bombings, attack animals, and some death (one scene and illustration were a little graphic)

Just So You Know
I read a free e-galley from Simon & Schuster via Galley Grab. Goliath is now available.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The 100 Top YA Books?

I've seen this list circulating a bit and thought I'd play along. This is someone's list of their Top 100 YA books. Apparently it originated in Sweden. (Thanks to Penelope at The Reading Fever for tracking down the origin).

I've bolded the ones I've read. If I didn't read all of the series it's because it wasn't for me.

  1. Alex Finn – Beastly
  2. Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
  3. Ally Carter – Callagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
  4. Ally Condie – Matched (1, 2)
  5. Alyson Noel – The Immortals  (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  6. Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
  7. Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  8. Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4) - I saw the movie
  9. Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
  10. Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  11. Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
  12. Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2)
  13. Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  14. Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
  15. Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1, 2, 3, 4)
  16. Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
  17. Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3, 4)
  18. Christopher Paolini  - Inheritance (1, 2, 3, 4)
  19. Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
  20. Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
  21. Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3) - I saw the movie
  22. Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
  23. Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  24. Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
  25. Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
  26. Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
  27. Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
  28. Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
  29. J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  30. James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2)
  31. James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  32. Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
  33. Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4) - I saw the movie
  34. Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) - I saw the first movie
  35. John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  36. John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
  37. John Green – Looking for Alaska
  38. John Green – Paper Towns
  39. Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1, 2, 3, 4)
  40. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2)
  41. Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
  42. Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (1, 2) - I'd like this time back in my life
  43. Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3)
  44. Lemony Snicket -  Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13) - I saw the movie
  45. Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
  46. Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
  47. Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
  48. M.T. Anderson – Feed
  49. Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1, 2, 3)
  50. Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  51. Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
  52. Markus Zusak  - The Book Thief
  53. Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
  54. Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  55. Mary Ting – Crossroads
  56. Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
  57. Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
  58. Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  59. Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) - I saw the movies
  60. Meg Rosoff – How I live now
  61. Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  62. Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
  63. Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
  64. Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  65. Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  66. Michael Grant – Gone  (1, 2, 3, 4)
  67. Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
  68. Neal Shusterman – Unwind
  69. Neil Gaiman – Coraline - I saw the movie
  70. Neil Gaiman – Stardust - I saw the movie
  71. Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
  72. P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 )
  73. Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
  74. Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
  75. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
  76. Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  77. Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  78. Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
  79. S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
  80. Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
  81. Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
  82. Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
  83. Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
  84. Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  85. Scott Westerfeld  - Leviathan (1, 2, 3)
  86. Scott Westerfeld  - Uglies (1, 2, 3)
  87. Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
  88. Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
  89. Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
  90. Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  91. Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
  92. Stephanie Meyer – The Host
  93. Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
  94. Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
  95. Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
  96. Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
  97. Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  98. Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
  99. Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
  100. Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

Only 24. Guess I've got some more reading to do! How many have you read? Are there other books you think belong on the list?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blog Hop & TGIF

Book Blogger Hop
This week's Book Blogger Hop question is:

“As a book blogger, how do you introduce yourself in your profile?”

Basically, this is not my strong suit. Thinking about this question made me realize that you really have to search, or deduce, that I only read YA books. And that a book's content is important to me. I have a decent NetGalley profile (I think) but my blog one basically says I have a son & I wear big sun glasses.

So, blogging friends, how do you introduce yourself? I could really use some help with that.

This week's TGIF question is:

Book Disappointments: Have you ever come across a book you were so stoked to read, but it failed miserably in your eyes? 

I don't remember feeling that any book has failed miserably, but a couple left me feeling disappointed for one reason or another.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano. I was pretty critical in my review of Wither. And that may have been in response to all the positive buzz I kept seeing for it. It didn't work for me. There was no reason to have polygamy in that story. If that fact ends up becoming a plot point, good for the author. If not, it's a plot hole (in my opinion). Plus, pop-culture polygamy is a personal annoyance to me (Big Love, Sister Wives, etc). But that is completely because I'm a Mormon and people tend to think Mormons are currently polygamists. And we're not. Like, not at all. 

Shade by Jerri Smith-Ready. When the YA Crush Tourney was going on, it seemed like half the twitter avatars turned to Team Kilt. I was really looking forward to reading the book. And there are so many good things about it. Mystery, creepy dead people, special powers, funny writing. But there's also frequent profanity (especially the f-word) and some sexual content that was more descriptive than I'm comfortable with. So, despite all the good about it, I don't feel comfortable recommending the book. And that made me sad.

This week at Read This Instead...

Read the first two chapters of Crossed? Check out my ARC review here.
A little BBAW fun.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Double "Crossed" Review

In honor of Crossed having not one, but two narrators, I've gotten a little help on this review. Making his Read This Instead debut is my husband, Rusty.

by Ally Condie

The Short Story
Don't read the Goodreads summary! There be spoilers.
Ky has been sent to the Outer Provinces to fight for his life. Cassia's family has been relocated. And Cassia is at a work camp in the hopes of finding Ky, leaving Xander behind. Or has she? As the story twists and turns she has to choose if being with Ky is really most important. Crossed kept me turning pages, but ultimately left me a little disappointed.
Rusty:  Read This 3 stars.
Kathy: Mixed Review 3.5 stars

Come for the....
He Said, She Said
Rusty: The overall description and detail of the setting was very fascinating. I enjoyed the increased level of suspense. There were details left undefined about each character that made everyone mysterious. Who is the traitor? Is there a traitor? How does the Society know where they are? The series seems cohesive as Cassia turns back to her old memories in moments of doubt and indecision.

Kathy: I liked the new information in this book, and learning a little more about the Society and the people in it. Having a second narrator challenged a lot of the assumptions I had from the first book, and added a feeling of uncertainty as to what the truth really was. The setting was perfect (possibly because I really like the part of Utah that is the setting for much of Crossed). And the new characters added a different dynamic to the action. I also really liked the use of color.

Don't Think About This Too Hard
R: At times the wording was a bit too flowery. There was a lot of investment without a payoff. I felt that the ending was not cohesive with the journey of the book. I was left wanting...Oh, and the cover...maybe you will get it right on the next one.

K: The voices felt similar and sometimes I couldn't tell who was narrating.
I didn't get the feeling they were in danger, possibly because the writing was very poetic and thoughtful. That style was a good match for Matched, but didn't work as well with the plot in Crossed. (If I were running for my life, my thoughts would be more "Ahhhh!" and less about poetry and love) It also made the book feel slow in parts.
There were some really tense build ups that didn't quite deliver for me.

The Big Three:
Language: A character swears. Twice! (the d-word, so not big)
Sex and Stuff: some kissing, a quasi-ambiguous scene
Violence: some dead bodies, but nothing gory

Just So You Know
I won an ARC from the Provo Library. Crossed will be released Tuesday, November 1.

Monday, September 12, 2011

BBAW 2011: Community

Since I just started blogging about six months ago, I didn't know what BBAW was. But now that I know it's a chance to highlight awesome bloggers, I want to play, too!

Today's topic is community and I'd like to spotlight a couple of bloggers who are just plain awesome and have been super nice to me as I've started my blog.

First, LL from The Story Girl. She read my blog when it was brand-spanking new and I'm pretty sure she was the first non-family commenter. I got to meet her at the Utah Book Blogger social on Saturday, and she is the nicest person! (and I'm jealous of her pretty hair) Also, her husband kept my husband updated on the score of the BYU-Texas game, so they are some of our new favorite people.

And, Jenny from Alternate Readality. Jenny started blogging right around the same time I did. And she is hilarious. There's so much personality in each of her posts. She's funny when she likes a book, she's (really) funny when she hates a book, and she's funny when she has discussion posts. Basically, she's funny all the time. I got to meet her on Saturday, too.

I hate to only highlight two, but  maybe with such a short list you'll get a chance to visit their blogs and see how great they are! Thanks to all the wonderful bloggers who have made starting a book blog so fun.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Read This: Forever

by Maggie Stiefvater

Just So You Know
I read this ARC as part of Banned Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

The Short Story 
Grace is a wolf, Sam is a boy, Cole is somewhere in between, Isabel is trying to keep it all a secret. And then the bad guys want to hunt down the wolves once and for all. Without the older wolves around to help, the teens have to try to figure out what to do. A satisfying conclusion to the Shiver series, that leaves some things up to the reader's imagination.

Come for the...
supporting characters. My absolute favorite thing about this book was how much focus there was on Isabel's and Cole's story lines. It was really interesting to read about how much their characters have changed over the course of the series. Even though Cole wasn't in Shiver, he easily became my favorite character. Watching him play mad scientist in this one was just really funny to me. And Isabel was many kinds of awesome. I also really liked that each narrator had a distinct voice. I never had a hard time keeping track of who was talking to me.

Another thing I really enjoyed were the attempts at realism in a obviously fictional, couldn't actually happen, story. I don't know much about infectious diseases, but I liked that lycanthropy was explained as a disease (instead of not at all). And I loved that the police actually tried to figure out what happened to Grace, and took Sam in for questioning. Because in real life if someone goes missing, the police would be involved. And the mysterious loner boyfriend would be the prime suspect. The premise is still unrealistic, but I liked the touches of real life here and there.

Stay for the
parental interaction; the ending that gives just enough.

Don't think about this too hard
  • Sam gets a little emo poetry throughout this one. He's kind of slow and mopey for much of the book, so that may bother the Sam fans out there. I think his chapters made the pace of the book feel a little slow at times, too.
  • I thought the cover was interesting, until my husband pointed out all of the tangents on it. (He does illustration and graphic design work, so he can't not notice). I can't unsee them anymore. Don't look at the trees, people.

The Big Three
Language: frequent profanity, but no f-words
Sex and Stuff: kissing, nakedness, and then some, but none of it is descriptive
Violence: some shooting, wolf fighting, and a lot of blood (including a couple of gory descriptions)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels

The Broke & the Bookish hosts Top Ten Tuesday. This week the topic is Sequels We're Dying to Read.
1. The Death Cure by James Dashner. (10/11/11) I have no idea how he's going to wrap that one up.

2. Goliath by Scott Westerfeld. (9/20/11) I've had this one from Galley Grab and haven't gotten around to it yet. But it expires in 2 weeks, so I better get cracking!

3. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. (3/6/12) Delirium had such a cliffhanger.

4. Surrender by Elana Johnson. (6/5/12) I thought Possession ended perfectly, so this companion book better not mess with it!

5. Lola & the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. (9/29/11) Another companion novel, but everyone seems to love it better than the original.

6. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. (12/6/11) The TMI series didn't do much for me, but I really liked Clockwork Angel. And this one should be the Jem book, so that's a good thing.

7. Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter. (already out) I liked Heist Society and how it was different from what I usually read.

8. The Savage Grace by Bree Despain. (3/13/12) I didn't love the first book in the series, but somewhere into the second one I got involved in the story & now I have to know how it ends.

9. The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting. (4/17/12) I really like these slightly creepy, slightly cheesy books.

10. Matched #3. (11/12?) I have some thoughts on how it will all end, so I want to know if I'm right!

What sequels are you excited for?

Friday, September 2, 2011

*Updated* Where I Share My Copy of Crossed by Ally Condie

I just finished reading Crossed by Ally Condie last night. And it's good.
The best part: the plot thickens
The worst part: the plot thickens a little slowly in the beginning

And since it's my birthday weekend, I want to share the love. Are you interested in reading Crossed? I'd like to lend the book out to as many people as would like to read it before it comes out on November 1.

I only ask a few things:

Pass the book on within a week of getting it - I'll email you the address of who should get it next
Read it in a clean, dry place/Don't mess the book up
Seriously, don't get it all dirty/chewed on/dog-eared
Don't steal it/sell it/make it mysteriously disappear

If that works for you, fill out the form below. US only, please. Shipping = expensive.

Updated: I had no idea how many people wanted to borrow this! I'll start with these guys:


If there's still time before the book comes out, I'll send it out to as many people as I can.

Follow Friday

This week's Follow Friday question is:

Q. If you could change the ending of any book (or series), which book would you choose? And, why?

I don't usually wish that most books ended differently, even when I want more (or something different) from the book. I actually really like it when an author doesn't give readers exactly what they were hoping for (like The Hunger Games series, or Possession by Elana Johnson).

But I would change Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. Uglies was so good, and Pretties was pretty good. But by the time I read Specials it was almost like reading about different characters. I think it became more about cool tech and adventures than about the characters, and I liked that less.

How about you? Happy Friday!