Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fracture by Megan Miranda

I saw this book while browsing on the Barnes and Noble website a few months ago, and thought it looked relatively interesting, so I placed it on my to-read list. When I found out that Megan Miranda was coming to TBF this year, I was excited to find that she was the author of Fracture, and that I would have to read it for this blog!

Delaney was dead; after being pulled out of an icy lake and revived, her heart hadn’t beat in eleven minutes. But somehow she was able to come back to life. Except now, everything is different. She feels fine, but she has so much brain damage that she should be dead. And in addition to being “the girl who lived,” she now is drawn to the dying --- she can’t resist going to those who are in their last moments. So when she meets Troy, who also has the same abilities that she does, she can’t help but be drawn to him, thinking he might have some of the answers to the questions she’s trying to answer. But Troy isn’t all that he seems to be. Should she listen to him, or should she try to figure things out on her own? And on top of that, will her life ever be the same as before?

When I first went into this, I thought it’d be another typical realistic fiction story. But as I got deeper and deeper into it, I realized that it was so much more. Delaney is a cool narrator, and the dynamics between her and her friends and family are really interesting to watch. On top of that is the whole almost supernatural ability that she and Troy have, which I totally did not expect. The added conflict between the two made the whole book more suspenseful too. If you like realistic fiction, I would totally recommend this book --- sure, it does have a bit of non-realistic stuff in it, but overall, it’s a great novel about a girl and her family and friends.

Check back in a while for our review of Megan Miranda’s new book Hysteria which comes out in a few months. Check out her website at <>. I hope you’ll stop by to see her at the festival!

Happy reading!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hope you received some great gifts...

...and that you asked for them to all be books by our TBF authors! Did you get any? Let us know!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Interview with TBF author: Stephanie Kate Strohm

Stephanie's TBF page 
Get all of Stephanie's books available through the Monroe County Library System here.

Hello everyone!

ROC the day was very successful! Thank you to everyone who donated to TBF and the other non-profit organizations!

I'm so excited to present to you, readers, Stephanie Kate Strohm! She is the author of Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink about a teen fashionista, Libby, solving mysteries, flirting with cute guys and looking fabulous, of course! The sequel, Confederates Don't Wear Couture hits the shelves Summer 2013.

Miranda Reads: Libby, the heroine in Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink, loves history and fashion. Do you have the same love for history and fashion?
Stephanie Kate Strohm: History and fashion are two of my favorite things - which makes fashion history probably my most favorite thing! I was a history major in college (focus on women in 19th century America), and I spent inordinate amounts of "research" time reading 1850s fashion magazines - just for fun. Consequently, my early drafts all have ridiculously long descriptions of everyone's outfits - like pages and pages that have to be edited out! Apparently, not everyone wants to read endless paragraphs about buttons. But if anyone ever wants to talk about antebellum sleeve detailing or the evolution of pantaloons, just let me know.

MR: Can you tell us what Confederates Don't Wear Couture is about?
SKS: Confederates Don’t Wear Couture follows Libby and her BFF Dev down to Alabama where they spend the summer at a series of Civil War Reenactments. So lots of hoopskirts, hardtack, and handsome boys in uniform. And of course, it wouldn't be a Libby summer without a ghost out for revenge!

MR: How many books are you planning to have in the Pilgrim series?
SKS: Definitely three...beyond that, it's still kind of up in the air!

MR: What was it like traveling to different states to perform in plays? Did you have to wear a corset?
SKS: A theater tour is a very strange, unique experience. It is very cool to be able to see so much of the country, and I'd never performed on such big stages before - sometimes as many as 6,000 seats! But after a while, you get tired of living in hotels and constantly driving around. And I have spent way more time in a corset than the average 21st century woman. Actually, the first time I was laced into one, I passed out! Faceplanted in the dressing room during a costume fitting. Now, however, I'm a corset pro - I can spend all day in one. Spending three summers at Shakespeare festivals will really build up your corset stamina.  

MR: Which novel of Jane Austen is your favorite? Why?
SKS: Emma. Although my favorite has changed over the years. When I was writing Pilgrims, it was, no surprise, Northanger Abbey. But after recently rereading all the Austens, I found my affections had switched back to my first favorite - Emma. Why Emma? Emma is the heroine I identify the most with. Sure, we'd all like to be Elizabeth Bennett, but I am most definitively...not.

MR: What author are you most looking forward to meeting at the 8th annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?
SKS: I'm really looking forward to meeting Robin LaFevers - we have the same publisher, but we've never met! And she obviously loves history too, so I think we'll have a lot to talk about!

Thank you, Stephanie for taking some time to chat with me! To learn more about Stephanie, go to her website or her Facebook page.

Enjoy the holidays, everyone!


PS--If you happen to be in the village of Fairport, you definitely want to check out the newly re-done YA area! It's gorgeous!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The TBF giveaway winner is....


Congratulations! Amy, please email me at so you can get your TBF $10 gift certificate. Thank you for those who participated!

Make sure you check out the blog again for the next giveaway!

If you haven't already, take a look at the interview with TBF author, Susane Colasanti!


The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

I’ve been wanting to read Alexandra Bracken’s first novel Brightly Woven for years, but I’d been unable to find it in any library. So when I heard that she was coming to TBF and that I’d finally be able to read her books, I was very excited. On top of all that, I got to read an ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) of her newest novel The Darkest Minds, which comes out next Tuesday, December 18th. And I am delighted to say that I was in no way disappointed.

Most of the children in the US are dead. Some say those are the lucky ones. If that’s the case, then Ruby is far from lucky. When she woke up on her 10th birthday, amidst the deaths of her classmates from a mysterious illness, something about her had changed. Something terrible enough that she her parents had the police take her away. Now 16, she lives in a government camp, along with other surviving children, all of whom display uncanny powers --- and the stronger their powers are, the more dangerous it is. Ruby has disguised herself for years as someone with little power, but someone has figured out her secret. So when she is offered the chance to escape, she takes it. But these new “friends” might not be what they appear. Will she be able to get to East River, the one safe place there is for children outside the camps? And if she can find it, will Ruby be able to get there in time?

This book is honestly one of my favorite I’ve read this year, out of the hundreds that I’ve read. And to top that off, I’d rank The Darkest Minds as one of the top five dystopian books I’ve ever read as well.  I’m not sure whether it’s the beautifully descriptive writing or the totally fleshed out characters. Maybe it’s the fact that I (as my friend put it after she read it) “suffered emotional trauma at the hands of this book.” (Yes, trauma in the most amazing way.) It might also be the fact that this is not your typical dystopian read --- it has more sci-fi aspects and is a type of coming of age story on top of that. There’s just so many good things packed into this nearly 500 page book, and yet it doesn’t overwhelm the reader.

So yes, this is one of my favorite books now, and I cannot WAIT to meet Alexandra Bracken in May. She’s also written Brightly Woven (check back for a review soon!), and she’s working on the sequel to The Darkest Minds, which I am looking forward to. Look at her website,, and follow her on Twitter and Tumblr. (The links for both are on her website.) I’m so excited, and I hope you are too, that Alexandra Bracken will be at the festival in May!

Happy reading!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ROC the Day!

Don't forget to ROC the Day tomorrow!! TBF depends upon the generosity of people. No matter how small the donation. It all matters. We know that for many of you, spending money in order to be able to attend events like TBF would be impossible. Unfortunately, fab events like this cost money in order for them to happen. That's why its so important, for those of us who are able to, to support this event. Please make it possible!!! 
Thanks everyone!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Interview with TBF author: Susane Colasanti

Susane's TBF page
Get all of Susane's books available through the Monroe County Library System here.

Hello readers!

I'm excited to post the first author interview of the year: Susane Colasanti. She is the author of Keep Holding On, the book Elizabeth reviewed. For more info about Susane's other novels, check out her website.

Miranda Reads: Most of your books are in the contemporary genre. Have you thought about writing a book outside of the contemporary genre?
Susane Colasanti: Not at all. Realistic contemporary fiction is my thing! I love the feeling of totally being able to relate to the story and characters when I’m reading. The books that resonate most strongly with me have characters that feel like they could be my friends. Their life feels like my life. That sense of connection brings a cathartic experience and helps me feel less alone. Historical or futuristic novels could accomplish the same goals, but I don’t seem to relate to them as authentically as books taking place right now.

MR:If you could marry one fictional character, who would it be? Why?
SC: Ponyboy Curtis from The Outsiders. Because he understands about sunsets and colors and things. Enough said.

MR:I love the chemistry between your characters. Are you a fan of romance novels?
SC: Epic love stories are my fave. I’m obsessed with soul mates. How they feel that immediate, undeniable connection the second they meet. How they can’t stop thinking about each other. How they always find a way to be together in the end, despite conflict. Writing about soul mates just makes me happy. Hopefully, my books inspire readers to believe in true love.

MR: Where do you get your ideas from?
SC: Ideas come from everywhere. Lots of ideas are inspired by my own experiences. Keep Holding On is my most autobiographical book yet. Much of what happens to Noelle actually happened to me in high school. Same with When It Happens. Sara is a lot like my high school self. Including quirky details from real life is always fun. Sara’s stuffed koala bear, Chez, is real. You can find a lot of cool New York City details in So Much Closer and Take Me There that are real. Some ideas come from dreams. The plot of Something Like Fate came to me in a dream. Right when I woke up, I knew I would develop the dream into my next book. The relationship dynamic between Rhiannon and James in Take Me There also came to me in a dream. And of course plenty of ideas come from my imagination!

MR: Sadly, your favorite TV show, The Office, is ending. What are you planning on watching now?
SC: Dude. The end of The Office is so tragic I can’t even. I’m completely in denial. Last season without Michael Scott was not the same. Not at all. I’m scared to watch this season. I don’t have a TV, so I’m always a season behind. But there is a party up in my Netflix queue! I developed an instant addiction to New Girl. Then there’s Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Breaking Bad, Modern Family, Parenthood (which brings some relief over the tragedy of Friday Night Lights ending), Gossip Girl, Girls, Glee, Fringe, Homeland…so much to watch. Nothing will ever replace the magic of Jam, but I have to move forward.

MR: What author are you most looking forward to meeting at the 8th annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?
SC: Everyone I haven’t already met! I have serious love for book festivals. Not only do I get to meet readers, which is the best thing ever, but so many amazing authors are gathered in one place. This year’s TBF will be epic.

Thank you Susane for your time to answer some interview questions! The TBF readers, Elizabeth and I are looking forward to meeting you!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Good news: Elizabeth and I are extending the giveaway for $10 in TBF merchandise. The new deadline will be December 12th the same day as "Roc the Day". To enter the giveaway, in the comment box, tell us one thing you are thankful for about TBF.

Question: What is "Roc the Day"?

Answer: It's an online fundraiser to help raise money for different not-for-profit organizations in the Greater Rochester area.TBF will be on the not-for-profit organizations list. All the money that is donated to TBF will go toward the 8th annual Teen Book Festival Fundraiser challenge: if we can raise $8,888 the entire TBF committee will have to wear prom dresses at the festival. So December 12th, "Roc the Day" and help TBF and other not-for-profit organizations!

For more information go to the website:

Come back to check out the blog again for another book review!


Monday, December 3, 2012

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

Sixth grade is a hard year, as Tommy and his friends know, fraught with social and academic problems. Lately, they’ve been asking Origami Yoda, their loser classmate Dwight’s finger puppet, for advice. And almost every single time, it seems that Origami Yoda was right; and Dwight obviously isn’t behind it, what with the way he acts. But Tommy has a BIG question that he needs to know the answer to --- and soon!  So he decides to compile a case file of all the questions asked to Origami Yoda, to see if he should take its advice. What will he decide?

I do not like many middle grade novels, but I absolutely LOVED Origami Yoda. This book is just so much fun! The characters, and the situations, are completely realistic. I originally read this when I was in 9th grade, so middle school was still fresh on my mind, and I loved how the book took me right back to there. Everybody says middle school is horrible, but it really isn’t, and this book really reminds you of it. Sure, there are the minor mishaps that seem like the end of the world, and this book has plenty of them, but Origami Yoda ultimately reminds you that everything will turn out fine in the end. And to top that off, there are sequels! Two of them, in fact. Check back in a few weeks to see reviews of them.

Happy reading!