Sunday, November 23, 2008

San Antonio Days...

I miss South Texas, but North Texas ain't bad either! Here's some pics on my lovely daughter Maddy and I! Loving La Villita!!

Took a hiatus...

I know...been gone for awhile, but I'm getting back in the game.
I think I needed a jumpstart, and I got that yesterday!! Teri Lesesne gave me the opportunity to moderate an author session at NCTE featuring three amazing people!!! Sean Beadoin is an amazing speaker - eloquent, entertaining, FUNNY!! John Green's personality really spoke when he did. He has such frenetic energy and definitely a unique perspective about life and writing that he draws from his past. Joan Bauer was funny, thought-provoking and shows why she's a staple in YA humor.
I was scared silly, but got through it, and did okay! So now, I get to go to the ALAN workshop and get to see everyone I've only known online! KEWL......

On a personal note, will be blogging about the AMAZING book called Skinned by Robin Wasserman. Of course, there'll be a comparison to Mary Pearson's Adoration of Jenna Fox, but this one is darker and takes a completely different slant on humanity. When you have Scott Westerfeld quoted on the cover, you know it'll be!
Also working on a new booktrailer for Beastly by Alex Flinn. The more I do, the better they get! Now to find some music.....

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley

(2008). New York: Little Brown and Co.

Charlotte Usher is trying so hard to make this year count. She has been meticulously studying photos and yearbooks of Petula and the two Wendy’s – the most popular girls in schools – in order to catch the attention of Damen, the god of high school. She’ll do anything to make this dream happen and go to the fall dance with him for her first kiss….

But a gummy bear gets in the way.

In fact, it gets so in the way of Charlotte’s air passage that she dies. Right there in the class where she felt his complete attention on her. Well, being a tutor to help him pass physics was just one way. Now it’s too late. Charlotte is dead, gone, and never been kissed.

But at her “new” high school, she learns that a bunch of those dearly departed, including Piccolo Pam (she swallowed her instrument), Metal Mike (music was his downfall), Deadhead Jerry (a hippie teen) and others, cannot not go to the next world until they embrace what it was that ultimately killed them – and not the obvious either. The answers lie in their textbook “Deadiquette” as well as their quest to save their home. If they can’t, they will live in limbo forever.

And Charlotte kind of likes that idea. She can now be around Damen as much as she wants to and he’ll never know she’s watching him. She can study Petula intensely and find out what makes her tick. She can be with the love of her life and pretend for eternity- but then Scarlet gets in the way.

Scarlet, Petula’s younger goth sister, is the only one who can see Charlotte and what she’s doing. When the two start talking, they realize they can experiment and fulfill their curiosity by switching themselves through possession….the only thing they didn’t bank on was how one girl could dramatically change the other’s life.

A refreshing, colorful, and hilarious outtake of death and gothic characters in today’s teen world just made its debut. The author is extremely witty and funny, starting off each chapter with a narrator’s synopsis that is a perfect fit for the reader. The imagination and style of the author are evident from beginning to end in this well-written book for teens. Mix a little “Scary Movie” humor in with “Mean Girls” characters; give it the all encompassing theme of true love and this unique author’s writing style, and you have yourself a true YA winner!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Can you pass this test? I CAN'T!!!!

The Missing Girl by Norma Fox Mazer

Five sisters, all with unique personalities: Beauty is the oldest, but she doesn’t live up to her name; Mim is the quiet, introspective sister that can calm the group; Stevie doesn’t want to live by the rules, she just wants to play the game her way; Fancy lives in her own world that revolves around her teacher and what she tells her special class; Autumn is the baby...

They all work and play together, but their lives are not as happy as they could be. The girls’ mother works hard to make ends meet since their father was hurt in an accident, but the money isn’t coming in. The fighting and stress between the parents is obvious, most notably at the dinner table, and the girls can only hope for the best and help contribute when they can.

What they don’t know is that someone….a typical, everyday, ordinary person…. is watching them, deciding which one he would want to take. But to him, it’s all a fantasy that cannot be acted upon. And that’s harmless, isn’t it? To think about it and not commit the act? But sometimes you can’t help yourself…

The girls’ world goes on a collision course when their parents decide that one of them has to leave home and her sisters to live with an aunt, but only until things are better financially at home. This doesn’t make any of them happy, especially when their cousin comes to take one of them away. But what happens to the other sister, who suddenly disappears, and no one knows where, is what causes their world to collapse. Where is she? Who is she with? What happened to her?

Norma Fox Mazer writes a story that depicts the separate but unified lives of the Herbert sisters and the roles they play when tragedy strikes. All of the girls reveal themselves slowly and innocently, while the other main character, the unnamed perpetrator, reveals himself almost from the start. The mood is automatically captured within the first chapter and the story unfolds itself smoothly, not in patches, where alternate views of the holistic situation is told through his side and the Herbert girls’ POV. The psychology of child abduction as well as the fallout of the victim’s family is realistically portrayed. This is an excellent read and good companion book to Scott’s Living Dead Girl.