Monday, August 31, 2009

On The Menu Monday #14 Food, Girls, & Other Things I Can't Have

Food, Girls, & Other Things I Can't Have

by Allen Zadoff

What’s worse than being fat your freshman year?
Being fat your sophomore year.

Life used to be so simple for Andrew Zansky–hang with the Model UN guys, avoid gym class, and eat and eat and eat. He’s used to not fitting in: into his family, his sports-crazed school, or his size 48 pants.

But not anymore. Andrew just met April, the new girl at school and the instant love of his life! He wants to find a way to win her over, but how? When O. Douglas, the heartthrob quarterback and high-school legend, saves him from getting beaten up by the school bully, Andrew sees his chance to get in with the football squad.

Is it possible to reinvent yourself in the middle of high school? Andrew is willing to try. But he’s going to have to make some changes. Fast.

Can a funny fat kid be friends with a football superstar? Can he win over the Girl of his Dreams? Can he find a way to get his mom and dad back together?

How far should you go to be the person you really want to be?

Andrew is about to find out.

OTMM reviews are up on Thursday!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This Is What I Want To Tell You by Heather Duffy Stone

Traveling To Teens Tour

This Is What I Want To Tell You

by Heather Duffy Stone

Heather Duffy Stone writes stories and essays that are mostly inspired by high school—either her own or someone else’s. This Is What I Want to Tell You is her first novel. She has lived in Vermont, England, Los Angeles, rural New York and Rome, Italy. For now she cooks, sleeps, explores, writes and teaches in Brooklyn, New York.

This Is What I Want To Tell You is the story of friendship, love and unexpected secrets. It is the story of two siblings, twins Noelle and Nadio who live with their mother.

They share a special, unspoken bond. And somehow they're able include Keeley Shipley into their small world which is perfectly fine until Keeley leaves them to spend a summer in England.

Nothing is the same as before. Not Noelle, not Nadio. Not even Keeley.

The parameters of friendship are sorely tested once she returns as things go from being platonic to something completely off-the-charts between Keeley and Nadio. Noelle, in the minds of the Keeley and Nadio, was completely oblivious. While Noelle did know about it and it ate at her.

Told from Noelle and Nadio's point of view,

This Is What I Want To Tell You is a simple, poignant tale of three friends, two siblings, one outsider and how teenage angst, love and jealousy can change everything in the blink of an eye.

The problems that they face, Noelle - jealousy over Keeley having so much but not appreciating it all, Nadio- their father's abandonment, Keeley- the unspeakable thing that happened to her over the summer, are all very real.

Everything a normal teenager can attest to. Ms. Stone uses everyday obstacles that life makes us face and brings to us a tale not different that most of yours.

This Is What I Want To Tell You is a tale you and I can both relate to.

This Is What I Want To Tell You: Go and read This Is What I Want To Tell You. ;)


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday#10

Forget Her Nots
by Amy Brecount White

When someone leaves three mystery flowers outside her dorm door, Laurel thinks that maybe the Avondale School isn't so awful after all -- until her own body starts to freak out. In the middle of her English presentation on the Victorian Language of Flowers, strange words pop into her head, and her body seems to tingle and hum. Impulsively, Laurel gives the love bouquet she made to demonstrate the language to her spinster English teacher. When that teacher unexpectedly and immediately finds romance, Laurel suspects that something -- something magical -- is up. With her new friend, Kate, she sets out to discover the origins and breadth of her powers by experimenting on herself and others. But she can't seem to find any living experts in the field of flower powers to guide her. And her bouquets don't always do her bidding, especially when it comes to her own crush, Justin. Rumors about Laurel and her flowers fly across campus, and she's soon besieged by requests from girls -- both friends and enemies -- who want their lives magically transformed -- just in time for prom.

Wow. I can't wait to read this book! Flowers and magic. Interesting combination don't you think?

(Weird fact: Lately I've been wondering about floriculture and horticulture a lot. I have no idea what this has to do with the book but i thought I'd just mention it.)

Yes, yes. I know Im eccentric. Thank you for agreeing with me! ;)


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy Release Day!

I can honestly say prior to this whole accident of starting my blog and talking to fellow bloggers and getting to know them, I didn't really know when any book except Harry Potter was coming out. Well not really. I just didn't diligently check up on them.

Yes it is very sad and possibly very dastardly of me to admit but it had to be done!

So today August 25th, I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate some of the authors whose books came out today! =D

Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri

Tricks by Ellen Hopkins

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

Love Is The Higher Law by David Levithan
(My favorite cover) [Ssshhh.. You didn't hear me say that!]

Fashionista by Micol Ostow

The Blonde Of The Joke by Bennett Madison

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

Thats just the tip of the iceberg folks!

I'd also like to congratulate Egmont USA on their first releases!

Violet Wings by Victoria Hanley

Callie's Rules by Naomi Zucker

Phew! I'm sure thats not all but those are the ones that I've heard of!

If you've read any of these wonderful books or are interested in or would like to express your thoughts comments suggestions just leave a comment below!


Monday, August 24, 2009

OTMM#13 This Is What I Want to Tell You by Heather Duffy Stone

This Is What I Want to Tell You by Heather Duffy Stone

and unexpected secrets.

Nadio and his twin sister, Noelle, always had a unique bond. And somehow, Keeley Shipley fit perfectly into their world. But when Keeley spends the summer in England, she comes home changed, haunted by a dark memory. As she and Nadio fall in love, they try to hide it from Noelle, who's jealously guarding a secret of her own. Slowly, a life-long friendship begins to crack under the crushing weight of past trauma, guarded secrets, jealousy, obsession . . . and an unexpected love that could destroy them.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday#9

Waiting on Wednesday#9

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
John Green and David Levithan

Two superstar authors join forces on a collaborative novel of awesome proportions One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical. Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them legions of faithful fans.

The first I heard about this book was from Khy, The Frenetic Reader. As we all know by now she's a huge David Levithan fan if there was ever one.

I think the main reason I want to read this book is because I want to see how the Will's lives are changed?

I mean if you're a Will. And I'm a Will. How would we talk to each other?

Will 1: Hi Will.
Will 2: Hi Will.

Bystander: Wait, did you both just call each other by the same name? O.O

What would that be like?
I can't wait till April 2010 to read this book!


Monday, August 17, 2009

On The Menu Monday #10 Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri

On The Menu Monday #10

Another Faust by
Daniel and Dina Nayeri

One night, across four cities, five children disappear. Years later, five enigmatic teenagers appear at an exclusive New York holiday party with their strange but beautiful governess, Madame Vileroy. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust children to the elite Marlowe School, where their presence brings unexplainable misfortune.

Using a series of “gifts” given to them by Madame Vileroy, the children are able to soar to suspicious heights at Marlowe. The gifts seem child-like in their simplicity. The governess teaches them to cheat, steal, hide, and lie; ‘harmless’ she calls them, though they are much more. For the vicious over-achiever, reading an unsuspecting mind is simply to cheat. For the reclusive pariah, the gift of stopping time is just another way to hide. And who but an aspiring writer can weave a convincing lie?

Soon, Madame Vileroy’s gifts become darker and more complex. Living in a gray home designed to cultivate and corrupt them, they are enveloped in the side effects of their own addictions. They live cursed lives, making deals with the devil as they claw their way toward their goals….that is until two of them begin to uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins. A modern retelling of an ancient dilemma, Another Faust recreates the story of the Faustian bargain. Set in present-day New York, but spanning the centuries, it is a chilling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption.

Brother-and-sister team Daniel and Dina Nayeri present Another Series: classic works re-imagined at the elite Marlowe School, where characters of the past take on new life, in a modern New York.

Another Faust is the first book in the Another Series. Their next book is titled Another Pan.

OTMM reviews are posted on Thursday!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Something of My Own

I've been thinking of doing this for a while and finally I've decided to post something of my own.
Please let me know what you think of it!
(Of course there's a back story to this too!)

Hey Radcliffe! How do I figure you out?

Hey Radcliffe! How do I figure you out?

You sit not five feet from me,
I hear you talk,
I hear you breathe.
The atmosphere is dense,
Not a sound to mar the silence.
I peek a glance,
I look away.
But that one look,
Stays ingrained.

At times,
You seem’d interested,
At times,
You look’d disinterested.
At times,
You’d pretend ignorance,
At times,
You’d fake concern.

Hey Radcliffe! How do I figure you out?

Gave me your number;
“Call me”, was all you said.
Gave me a smile;
Melted my heart-
Took my breath captive.
Look’d into my eyes;
Show’d me yours – fathomless.
I lost myself in their abyss,
Forgot everything that mattered,
Remember’d only you.

Hey Radcliffe! How do I figure you out?


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday#8

The Line by Teri Hall

Rachel lives with her mother on The Property. The good thing about living there is that it’s far from the city where the oppressive government is most active. The bad thing, at least to most

people, is that it’s close to the Line—an uncrossable section of the National Border Defense System, an invisible barrier that encloses the entire country.

She can see the Line from the greenhouse windows, but she is forbidden to go near it. Across the Line is Away, and though Rachel has heard many whispers about the dangers there, she’s never really believed the stories. Until t

he day she hears a recording that could only have come from across the Line.

It’s a voice asking for help.

Who sent the message? What is her mother hiding? And to what lengths will Rachel go in order to do what she thinks is right?


“The Line took me ‘away’ in one page-turning gulp. Hall’s writing is seamless, smooth and compelling—I can’t wait for the next installment. This is a new author to keep an eye on.”

Mary E. Pearson

Author of The Adoration of Jenna Fox

How awesome is that cover?

Its also been optioned for T.V. according to the author's website! ~Yay~

There is also a sequel to The Line. Its called Away and it comes out in early 2011.

That is a long wait!


Monday, August 10, 2009

Khy Meets Me. Or Vice Versa?

I am very impatient. It's not a very well known fact.

In fact I hate waiting in lines for anything. So imagine my response when I saw (Back in March) on the NYPL website an article on the Teen Author Festival.

It was my Spring break. I'd been out to the city all day with my friends the previous day and was still exhausted. But I saw one name jump out to me. Or two. Maureen Johnson. Cecily Von Zeigesar.


How could I not go? Suite Scarlett and Gossip Girl creators. How could I give up this amazing opportunity?!

And of course David Levithan

(Cue: Fangirling may begin Zoe & Khy ).

(from L to R: Cecily Von Zeigesar, Paul Griffin[empty chair;he was reading], Rita Williams Garcia, Coe Booth, Maureen Johnson, and David Levithan)

March 20th might as well have been the day that my life changed.

I hate getting stuck in traffic so I got outta my apartment early and got to the library way to early. So I decided to go across the street to get a Starbucks Banana Chocolate Chip Cake (the significance of which will be revealed as the post goes on).

When I returned there wasn't anyone else there except me. So I decided I wasn't going anywhere. In case you know anyone else showed up and I missed my spot. So I was waiting there when this girl shows up and she goes up to the security guard and asked him is the Maureen Johnson event here? He said get in line behind that girl (pointing at me). She looked about 17 and came up to me and stood behind me and kept checking her cell every few minutes. I decided to talk to her. You know in account of both of being here all alone. So I was going to turn around when this other girl and an older lady came and stood behind her and they got started talking. So of course I had to wait because it would rude to interrupt. But I could hear what they were talking about. So I technically I wasn't eavesdropping. I heard the first girl's name was Valentina and the other was named (for all intents and purposes) Khy. and her mom. So at this point I had to chime in or I would start feeling guilty. So I chime and say hi I'm Mitali blah blah blah.

Val was from Florida here for a school a trip and Khy was on premature spring break (we'll just leave it at that) from Cali. I was of course fascinated. I had the opportunity to make two new friends outside of NJ right? (Who knew 2 would become over 20).

Hate to say this but this is where I leave you folks.

More to come tomrrow...

But till then enjoy this pic of me with Khy & Valentina!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Prophecy Launch #4!

So far we've seen what Adele, Devyn and Vania have to say.. Today we invite Shayla from The Book Explorer to share her thoughts!

Prophecy of the Sisters is set in the 1800’s , where it focuses on a set of twin sisters, Lia and Alice, who haven’t truly begun to realize what they have been born into. A series of incidents happen including a death, the sudden appearance of a mysterious mark, the making of new friends with an outsider and spirit talker, and learning of an ancient prophecy, throw Lia into an age-old war that she doesn’t feel ready to accept. Lia soon learns that it isn’t as easy to choose good when everything about you yearns for evil, as if it is her destiny to commit such atrocious deeds, and that those she thought would never harm her would do just that as she faces off with her twin sister Alice. It is hard for Lia to keep on the path that she has chosen, but with her two friends next to her, she takes the next step to put an end to the prophecy once and for all.

This book can be summed up in very few words. Mesmerizing, Captivating and Exhilarating are a few that come to mind. The plot is an original one based off a myth from the Bible including the Watchers. It is also a fun story to make it a battle between twins that has gone on for centuries from mother to daughters. Michelle also adds a spin to the story by setting it in early day American with a gothic style instead of the typical gothic England.

The dark, gothic setting instantly brings up the memory of some classic books, particularly Jane Austen’s novels or Wuthering Heights. Michelle Zink captivates the feel of the setting perfectly, creating an awesome story that many will love for generations to come. I personally can’t wait to read the second and third book in this series.


Thank you Shayla for your wonderful thoughts on Prophecy!

Next week look out for some readers who thought Prophecy was delightful!


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Prophecy Launch Post #3

Last weekend we saw Vania and Devyn give their two cents about Michelle.

Today is Adele's turn to shed light on some elements in Prophecy.

Instead of presenting a gush-filled post about the joys of Michelle Zink's Prophecy of the Sisters, I thought I would discuss three of the elements that really intrigued me in the novel. Kindly, Mitali has given me free reign, so strap on for the ride and let's hope she doesn't regret it.

1. Freaky twins

No I am not talking about double Lindsay Lohan action in The Parent Trap, though I would argue that is particularly freaky. There is something about twins that intrigues us all. Why? Throughout history we've been entranced by two people looking exactly the same, hence the flow on effect with doppelganger theories and recently, cloning. Way back in the day the Romans would tell stories of Romulus and Remus, theNormans had Freyr and Freyja (see that did that annoyinglysimilar naming crap back in ancient history too) and the Greeks have Helen and Clytemnestra. But I would argue that it's the physical link that bewilders us but it's the 'other'connection that intrigues us. Life is all about making connections to places, people and things and yet twins have an immediate connection, tethered to one another from the womb. It may or may not be one of like or love, but the strength ofthat connection is fascinating.

Add a family prophecy passed through a whole line of twins and you're in book bliss. Prophecy of the Sisters twins, Lia and Alice are fascinating as they aren't the twins that do everything together. They aren't the loving and understanding twins that Disney and the Olsens beat us over the head with. They don't understand or particularly like one another but in many ways they are extremely loyal to their sister. They are linked by blood and by prophecy but they aren't in any other way. They stand on either side of the coin and yet they are still joined. It's this complexity that drives the story and holds me in its grip.

2. I am woman. Hear me roar.

Strong females are often equated with kick-ass females. It's definitely one element of it, but I often think that authors need to look outside of physical manifestations of strength. Lia is strong but she's not particularly gifted in the pectoral region. She's strong because of her faith, her conviction and her familial ties. She is strong as many generations of prophecy-afflicted women in her family have been. In fact, this entire book is rife with woman and girls who are strong in different ways. Whether they are more evilly inclined or not, they are all steadfast in their beliefs. They are self-sacrificing in both life and circumstance to save the world and their family, which is the epitome of strength. The protagonist, Lia, demonstrates her own tenacity in her continued attempts to save and/or stop her twin time and time again. Their connection making her both strong and vulnerable. It's this tiptoeing contrast that makes this far from literary drek.

3. Romance Schmonance

I love a great smooch, snarky repartee, URST and all those other 'musts' in romance-ville. I will not deny it. However, the relationship between James and Lia is an interesting one. It deviates. It's a relationship that fails to adhere to the norms of YA. He's in the background. He's important but not overly so. For Michelle Zink, it's not about the romantic lead swooping in, saving the day and patting his girlfriend on the butt as his chest swells with pride. Nope, James is peripheral. Lia loves him, Lia would like to marry him but he's not the most important part of her life. He's something that's put on the backburner when her father passes away and her sister'sdemonstrates sociopathic tendencies. This is realism people...the boy is not always number one (as much as he'd like to be, he's not.)

I hope to have presented you with three reasons why Prophecy of the Sisters is a must read. It's far from clich├ęd, mindless, tokenistic girl-power rah rah romps. It's the real deal. There's depth, there's realism, there's love (in all it's forms) and most importantly it's about two freaky twins, a genealogy of prophesied woman and the tussle for the world's survival. Join the party, read the book and see how real, strong woman might save the day!

Congratulations on the release of your debut novel, Michelle. Thank you for providing an enormously rich world in which I can lose myself in such multi-faceted characters, complex mythology and dire circumstances. Hurry up with the next one!

Thank you Adele for the wonderful words and I couldn't agree more that Michelle needs to hurry up with the next one! ;-)

Sent from my iPod.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Locker Shock by Pam Ripling

Locker Shock by Pam Ripling


What would you do if you found something
deadly in your school locker and you suspected a friend of stashing it there?

Benjamin Mitchell thinks life really sucks when he nearly fails his history test. What's more, he's trying to get on the Midland Racers hockey team

as a replacement goal tender. His buddies, Zach and Frasier are as different as

night and day, and Ben feels like salt-water taffy, stretched thinner and thinner as the boys battle for his attention. And as if things couldn't

get any worse, Valerie has suddenly started acting like a girl. The pressure is on.

But Ben has bigger problems and it looks like somebody is out to set him up. Can he find out before it's too late?

Pam Ripling:

“Pam Ripling didn't know what she was getting into when she decided she wanted to be published. A business owner, wife and mother, Pam dove headlong into electronic publishing when it became apparent that this, at last, was her ticket to stardom and notoriety. With a few romance novels already under her proverbial belt, LOCKER SHOCK! is her first venture into the Middle Grade/Young Adult genre. Fueled by her two teenage sons' experiences in junior high, Pam has created several stories portraying life as a young teen in today's uniquely challenging times. She hopes LOCKER SHOCK! is the first of many.”


High school is a very demanding time in a person's life. It is not easy for anyone. None of the children belonging to any clique have it easy. The nerds will always be teased about being nerds, the jocks will always be accused of being just that, the blond cheerleader will still be stereotyped as being dumb, and the cool kids will still have to do drugs to stay "cool".

Locker Shock is an honest story of Ben Mitchell who is an over-all good guy, a student who wants to do the right thing by going to class on time and hang out with all his friends keeping them all satisfied and make the hockey team so he can be great at something. Well written with a good plot line Locker Shock weaves a story where the protag Ben, has to make some difficult choices regarding his friends, whether his reporting something unusual would mean "betraying"a good friend.

Ben is a well rounded character, with emotions that are palatable. The transition from middle school to high school, when not just a small gesture such as kissing a parent goodbye becomes uncool but also being seen with them for a longer amount of time then necessary does too.

Loyalty is one of the things Ben is big on. He is conflicted by emotions when he discovers the item in his locker and also when he finds out his friend is being abused by her father.

But he keeps it to himself as he doesn't think talking about it with anyone else before talking to his friends will do him any good.

Over the span of 100 pages, Ms. Ripling covers some of the most important issues facing a young adolescent today, peer pressure, and the troubles of transition.

Locker Shock was written for hi/lo kids – those reluctant kids wanting age-appropriate stories/high interest level who have lower reading skills. Kids whose friends are already reading Harry Potter or Tolkien, but they just aren’t there yet. Also for parents wanting books that contain no sex, drugs, “language” or assault on authority. Some may call these aspects unrealistic, but I have had countless adults and children (confessionally!) tell me they prefer a return to “safe” books. So something to keep in mind about this the first in a series of

Follow up book is in first edits, titled OLD ENOUGH, about the same group of kids who are now a year older and dealing with diversity (and an earthquake!) affecting their school. Look for OLD ENOUGH in the spring, also from Quake Press.

You should all read Locker Shock by Pam Ripling!

You can order it here from Amazon. Or here from the publisher's website.