Tuesday, December 29, 2015

31 Authors are Coming to Rochester this May!

Hello TBF readers!

I am delighted to announce that two more authors have been confirmed for TBF 2016: Sarah Rees Brennan and Chris Grabenstein. Sarah is the author of The Demon's Lexicon trilogy, The Lyburn Legacy and upcoming novel, Tell the Wind and Fire. Chris is the author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, The Haunted Mysteries series and the Riley Macker series.

With these two author confirmations, I am thrilled to announce that 31 authors will be coming to Rochester on May 14, 2016! Take a look at the list:

  • Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Jesse Andrews
  • Cathleen Davitt Bell
  • Charles Benoit
  • Sarah Rees Brennan
  • Anna Breslaw
  • Jennifer Donnelly
  • Tim Federle
  • K.L. Going
  • Chris Grabenstein
  • Harriet Reuter Hapgood
  • Rachel Hawkins
  • Ellen Hopkins
  • A.S. King
  • Mercedes Lackey
  • Justine Larbalestier
  • Carolyn Mackler
  • Kekla Magoon
  • Ridley Pearson
  • Tamora Pierce
  • Gary Schdmit
  • Steve Sheinkin
  • Alan Lawrence Sitomer
  • Jessica Spotswood
  • Robin Talley
  • Mariko Tamaki
  • Janet B. Taylor
  • Terry Trueman
  • Scott Westerfeld
  • Suzanne Young
  • Jeff Zentner
That's it for today! Hope you all have a happy holiday!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Book Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Hi everyone,

Hope the school year hasn't been too harsh on you as we approach winter break. Today we're talking about The first book in the Cahill Witch Chronicles: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood.

Cate Cahill and her sisters have always lived in fear of their secret getting out. They're witches. With the priests of the Brotherhood breathing down their necks they can't afford to slip up or it would mean life an asylum, prison, or worse, death. When Cate receives a mysterious letter warning her of the danger to come she knows that she and her sisters might be in even more trouble than she thought. Through the help of the letters her deceased mother left behind and the local bookstore owner, she uncovers a prophecy that puts her and her sisters at the turning point of the century, for the better or for worse. All the while her coming of age ceremony is right around the corner and she has to make a choice: join the sisterhood and protect her sisters, or pursue forbidden love with the intoxicating Finn Belastra?

I can't express how excited I am to talk about this book. I finished the whole thing in an afternoon because I simply could not put it down. When I first started the book I hadn't even read the inside cover. I had little idea of what it was about and just dove right in. Instantly I found our main character Cate relate able. There was something so spot on about her incessant worrying and her attitude as a girl trapped by society. It was also hard not to get wrapped up in her two younger sisters, the hotheaded Maura and the calm innocent Tess. Most of all, never has a forbidden love story enticed me as much as this one did. From the very moment you meet Finn his character jumps off the page and into real life. His first few sentences told me everything I needed to know in order to get me seriously invested in the book and its plot.The Cahill Witch Chronicles is a trilogy. By the time I reached the end of book one I was hungry and ready for the next two, dying to see how the story might be resolved. I definitely recommend Born Wicked. Jessica Spotswood does a phenomenal job with this story and I am excited to see what the next books have in store.

That's all for today!


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Another Author Confirmed!

Hello TBF readers!

We have confirmed another author!  Jeff Zentner, debut author of The Serpent King will be coming to Rochester! This contemporary novel will be released March 2016.

That's it for today! Be sure to check out the blog again for more book reviews and author interviews!


Monday, December 14, 2015

TBF Authors News and a Contest!

Hello TBF readers!

Three more authors have been confirmed for this year! Take a look:
  • Laurie Halse Anderson: author of Speak, Prom, Catalyst, Twisted, Fever 1793, Wintergirls, Seeds of America series and The Impossible Knife of Memory
  • Jennifer Donnelly: author of Revolution, The Waterfire Saga and These Shallow Graves
  • Mariko Tamaki: author of Skim, Emiko Superstar, (You) Set Me on Fire, This One Summer and Saving Montgomery Sole    *Saving Montgomery Sole will be released April 2016*
Also TBF is calling all teen artist for the TBF Design contest! You can submit you designs for the TBF program cover or the TBF T-Shirt Design. The deadline is March 18th! So maybe you guys can get started while you are on vacation.

That's it for today! Be sure to check out the blog again for more book reviews and author interviews!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Book Review: Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell

Hello again,

Today, I am reviewing Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell. Here's the summary:

Camp Frontier promises families that "thrill" of living 1890s pioneers. Gen will be thrilled if she survives the summer stuck in cabin with her family and no modern amenities. But ever the savvy teen, Gen sneaks in a phone and starts texting about camp life. Turns out, there are some good points-like the cute boy who lives in the next clearing . But when her texts go viral as a blog and a TV crew arrives, Gen realizes she may have just ruined the best vacation she's ever had.

I know, not quite a winter book. But don't discount it just because it doesn't match in season! I actually found the cute story rather light and refreshing in comparison to other books I usually read.

The narrator, Gen, is only 13 years old (and is portrayed as thirteen, kudos to Bell on making her character act her age), but she has a strong and strong and realistic voice so her age fits for story. Speaking of characters, all the supporting characters were well done  and aided rather than detracted from the story. There was an interesting mixture of independent and unique characters. I felt like each one had his or her own personality and life; no one blended into the crowd unless it was on purpose.

I also enjoyed the various relationships, especially concerning family, as well as the lessons involved. The story, for all its cuteness, was actually kind of insightful in a few ways (but I can't tell you how because SPOILERS!!). It discussed the common thoughts on our dependency on technology. The book also, in my opinion, does a good job at the historical aspects of what living in the late 1800s as a pioneer would be like. I think that the chores and all the other jobs that would have kept the pioneer camps running were shown to be challenging and difficult but not impossible or just plain stupid. I think Bell demonstrates a real appreciation and attention to history to make this camp seem more realistic and interesting that just your regular old summer camp style lodgings. The book brings up various historical facts, too, that I hadn't known and were pretty cool.

This book is a definite top recommendation for any Laura Ingalls Wilder's fan or someone looking for a cute, light story.

Happy reading! I hope you have a fabulous day.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Interview with TBF Author: Jessica Spotswood

Hello TBF readers,

I am so excited to share with you the first author interview of the TBF 2016 season! Without further delay, here is my interview with Jessica Spotswood, author of The Cahill Chronicles and upcoming book, WILD SWANS.

Miranda Reads: Your debut series, The Cahill Witch Chronicles, was about witches and magic set in a Salem witch trials time period. What inspired you to write this series?

Jessica Spotswood: Like Cate, I'm the oldest of three sisters. The Cahill Witch Chronicles was inspired by a dream I had in which my sisters and I were fighting over a magical locket from our mother. Sadly, our mom doesn't have a magical locket, but I loved the idea of exploring that complicated mix of love and competition between sisters, especially sisters with a powerful magical legacy.

Miranda Reads: Do you do a lot of research for your novels? If so, which comes first, writing or researching?

Jessica Spotswood: I did a fair amount of research for the Cahill Witch Chronicles. It takes place in an alternate version of 1890s New England, so I researched a lot of the fashion, home decor, food, etiquette, and technology of the late Victorian era - and then felt free to take liberties with it. For the trilogy, I wrote first and then filled in details as I went along. But for my story in A Tyranny of Petticoats, which takes place in 1820s New Orleans, I researched before I wrote a single word. I read lots about New Orleans and its transition from French to Spanish to American, about the society and legacy of the free people of color, about voodoo and Marie Laveau.

Miranda Reads: You have a new book coming out called WILD SWANS. What can you tell me about it?

Jessica Spotswood: It takes place in a gossipy small town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, right on the Chesapeake Bay. Everybody in Cecil knows about the Millbourn girls. For generations they've been brilliant artists, but they've all died young, by murder or suicide. My main character, Ivy, is seventeen and struggling to figure out where she fits into this legacy. When she was two years old, her mother ran off and abandoned her to be raised by her granddad -- and now her mother's come back home with two half-sisters Ivy's never met. Ivy's also falling in love for the first time, with her granddad's best student, a tattooed poet. 

Miranda Reads: What can fans expect from WILD SWANS?

Jessica Spotswood: It's my first contemporary, but it still has a few things in common with the Cahill Witch Chronicles: a potential family curse, complicated relationships between sisters, a cute bookish boy, and fantastically loyal girl friends.

Miranda Reads: Which author are you most excited to meet at the 11th Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?

Jessica Spotswood: I'm exciting to meet Scott Westerfeld! His UGLIES series was one of the first series I read when I started reading for fun again after grad school, and it's so clever. And I love the LEVIATHAN series too; the worldbuilding is so fabulous and imaginative. I need to catch up on his new series!

Thank you so much Jessica! And check out the gorgeous cover for WILD SWANS!

WILD SWANS will be in your hands May 1, 2016. You can follow Jessica on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and Goodreads.

That's it for today! Be sure to check out the blog for more book reviews and author interviews!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Book Review: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Hello TBF readers,

I am here to share with you a book review before Thanksgiving. Take a look at Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins:

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper's least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David's own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y'all beg for more.

I LOVED Rebel Belle. The first book of this charming series introduces the heroine, Harper Price. She has a lot going for her before the story starts. Harper is participating in a ton of school activities, dealing with the death of her sister, trying to prepare for her cotillion ball and be the perfect girlfriend, daughter and friend everyone expects her to be. Her life is "perfect" which puts her under a lot of stress. Harper's world turns upside down when the school janitor passes his warrior magical powers to her. While getting awesome powers might be a plus, she has to protect David Stark, her least favorite person. I admire Harper's strong personality. She is not a beauty to mess with. Harper is extremely loyal to her friends even to David Stark, who she would love to karate kick to the curb. You can definitely tell Harper is under a lot of stress but she manages it with grace.

Rebel Belle will appeal to fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Both Buffy and Harper are very strong heroines who are thrown off their game when stepping into the supernatural world. Also it doesn't hurt when both characters have two guys vying for their attention.

I highly recommend Rebel Belle to readers who love Buffy the Vampire Slayer and enjoyed Rachel Hawkins's other series, Hex Hall. You will not be disappointed! Also check out the next two books in this charming series, Miss Mayhem (Book #2) and Lady Renegades (Book #3). Lady Renegades will be released in Spring 2016!

That's it for today! Be sure to check out the blog again for more book reviews and author interviews!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Book Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Greetings readers! I just finished Robin Talley’s Lies We Tell Ourselves and it is such a wonderful read and I’m struggling to find where to begin in discussing this fantastic novel!

Talley tackles many current controversial topics of social justice -- but in a historic setting. It's 1959, and Sarah Dunbar will be among the first group of black students to attend Jefferson High School, the local all-white school. Sarah, an honors student and avid singer at her old school, is barred from upper level classes and all extracurriculars. Other students constantly harass her and her friends to no end. But the worst treatment comes from Linda Hairston. Linda doesn't use force like many other students, but as the daughter of a segregationist local newspaper write, Linda follows in her father’s footsteps, writing in the school newspaper against segregation and the NAACP. Sarah and Linda clash when they are paired for a French project. In between working on the project, they argue and blame each other for the tumultuous changes that have been plowing through Jefferson High School, from the delayed start of school to the cancelling of the prom. Sarah condemns Linda for arguing with the “tradition” of segregation while not acknowledging the extensive racism that keeps whites and blacks separate, while Linda calls integrationists, the local NAACP chapter, and Sarah “agitators” for trying to rush change. But they both take the integration a little too lightly, and soon, white students begin to throw more than insults and people start getting hurt. Both Sarah and Linda are shaken up by their year at Jefferson, but they learn about themselves, their families, their community and their lives in the world.

Lies We Tell Ourselves is the beautifully written result of clearly extensive research done by Robin Talley. Her passion for social justice in multiple spheres shines clearly in her work. The time period allows for the discussion of racism, but she expands the novel to cover internal conflict over sexuality, religion, as well as gender roles. Instead of writing a standard black-person-teaches-white-person-about-racism, Talley looks deep into both Sarah and Linda, and delves into their experiences in so much detail in order to discuss so many more issues. They are so realistic and complex, one can only imagine the amount of thought and structure that went into their creation. The side characters are equally interesting and well developed; everyone faces their own struggles and their own growth, even if they aren’t the focus of the novel. I particularly loved Sarah’s little sister Ruthie, who would not shy away from searching for hope and justice in difficult situations.

This novel is simply extraordinary. Talley’s multifaceted approach to so many different issues is extensive and well thought out. I highly recommend this book for readers who want to understand the circumstances of the time better, who are involved in activism, or who simply want a moving read. Lies We Tell Ourselves is such an amazing work and I can’t wait to get my hands on Robin Talley’s next book as well. Happy reading!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Book Review: I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

Hi readers!  I hope everyone’s enjoying the perfect reading weather we’re having, and if you don’t know what to read, have I got something for you.  A.S. King’s I Crawl Through It is sure to be a definite fall favorite.

Four teenagers, all trying to deal with the memories of their pasts and the stresses of their present, feel like they are about to explode.  Standardized testing, bomb threats, and suspicious neighbors all add to the tension in their lives.  To cope, one lies, one swallows herself, one splits in two and one builds an invisible helicopter to fly away from their problems. However, they soon discover that they must face their problems head on if they truly wish to overcome them.

This book is definitely not a light read.  It is thought provoking and challenges readers to think of the characters and plots in unconventional ways and to question what the narrators truly mean.  Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed that challenge.  This surrealist novel will be something that readers are not used to, so I encourage everyone to stretch their horizons and read with a mindset that is open to new experiences.  From the first page, I was hooked, I Crawl Through It is so different from anything that I’ve ever read and it was quite refreshing to read a story told in such a unique way.
Each character is dealing with challenges that teenagers in real life face.  They are flawed.  They are broken.  They are trying.  Unlike many stories about teenagers today, this one takes teens and puts them in a light that validates every challenge that they face and shows them struggling to deal with the fallout.  King does a wonderful job of creating characters that will resonate with all readers.

This book can start great conversations, not only about the story, but about major issues brought up in the novel, if you do choose to read it, (and I hope you will) be prepared to want to talk about it with anyone who will listen (I certainly did).  Anyone who has enjoyed Laurie Halse Anderson, John Green, or any of A.S. King’s other novels will undoubtedly love I Crawl Through It. 

Happy Reading!


Justine Larbalestier...

...is coming to Rochester! She is the author of Magic or Madness trilogy, How to Ditch Your Fairy, Team Human, Liar, Razorhurst and My Sister Rosa     *My Sister Rosa is expected to be released in 2016*

Share your excitement for all the authors coming to TBF using the hashtag #ROCTBF2016!

Check out the blog again for more book review, author interviews and more!

P.S. The Fairport Public Library just reopened after several weeks for remodeling! You should definitely check it out if you live in the area!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

More TBF 2016 Author News

Hello TBF readers!

I am happy to announce three new additions to the TBF 2016 author line-up. Take a look!
  • Anna Breslaw: author of Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here     *This debut book will be released April 2016*
  • K. L. Going: author of Fat Kid Rules the World, King of the Screwups, The Garden of Eve and more!
  • Rachel Hawkins: author Hex Hall series and Rebel Belle series    *The third and final book in the Rebel Belle series, Lady Renegades, will be released April 2015*
That's it for today! Be sure to check out the blog again for more book reviews, author interviews and more!


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Book Review: Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

Hi readers! I hope you're staying warm and finding some good books this season! I've been enjoying this fall with Janet B. Taylor's book, Into the Dim!

Hope Walton isn't your typical home schooled teenager. Hope has a perfect photographic memory and a few severe phobias to go with it. When Hope's mother is presumed dead after a horrible earthquake, Hope's carefully built world crumbles out from underneath her. In order to give her time to grieve, her father ships her off to her Aunt's mysterious mansion in Scotland. There, she finds out that her mother is alive and well in the year 1154. Hope finds herself facing her fears as she travels back into the past to rescue not only her mother, but several of her new friends too.

Even if you think you know how time travel works then you still probably find this book refreshing and new. I'll be honest, as a reader I have heard several different theories on the function and effects of time travel, and I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I was pleasantly surprised to find Into the Dim to be a new and well crafted story. Along with time travel, this book is filled with action, love, and a ton of twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat, screaming aloud at the pages when something bad happens and jumping for joy at something good. Not only did Janet B. Taylor have a perfect balance of history and fiction, but she wrote in very real characters that I could understand, relate to, and fall in love with. I can honestly say that there wasn't a single moment where I was bored while reading and I highly recommend that any fans of science fiction or fantasy read this book.

Keep a close out out for Janet B. Taylor's Into the Dim when it officially releases in March of 2016! You won't be disappointed by this novel and I can't wait to share this reading experience with all of you.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Hi, everyone!

It's good to be back and reviewing for you all!

Today's book is Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. Check it out:

It is a universally acknowledged truth that high school sucks. But on the first day of his senior year, Greg Gaines thinks he’s figured it out. The answer to the basic existential question: How is it possible to exist in a place that sucks so bad? His strategy: remain at the periphery at all times. Keep an insanely low profile. Make mediocre films with the one person who is even sort of his friend, Earl.

This plan works for exactly eight hours. Then Greg’s mom forces him to become friends with a girl who has cancer. This brings about the destruction of Greg’s entire life.

Confession time: I haven't seen the movie yet nor did I read the book summary. I went into the book basically blind to any knowledge of what it was. I had heard lots of praise, seen that 30 second movie trailer, and thought I knew what the basic plot of the book was. I was wrong.

I had been expecting some sort of sappy, loving story about losing a friend to cancer-heartwarming, you know? Instead I got this mismatched journal of a hilarious teen named Greg sharing his story of senior year, in which he became friends with a dying girl.

I feel like it's my duty to warn you--there's a lot of swearing and it doesn't follow any certain form of writing. I found it fun though that the narrative parts of the story were broken up by bullet lists and movie scripts. It made it really feel like a film making, regular teenager might write.

There are so many jokes and funny things that go on page after page. I always seemed to laughing or snorting or giggling at something. This book brings the very heavy topic of someone trying to support not only himself, but a friend that has cancer and the way it affects his life with humor and wit and a unique and refreshing point of view. I enjoyed Greg's perspective of this turning point in his life, and how we could still see the deeper emotional impacts on him, despite his reluctance to ever admit to anything less than a joke.

Although I went into this book knowing basically nothing about it and expecting to cry, I'm really glad it turned out to be the complete opposite, making me laugh and showing me a unique compilation-like story of our dear Greg.

Keep on reading! I hope you have a great day!


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Book Review: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Hey, readers! I hope you're all having a lovely autumn so far. One of my favorite things about fall is being able to just curl up with a book and some tea or coffee, whether it's in a cafe or at home, and to enjoy some quality reading time to myself. And what could be better than reading Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan? (Hint: not much.)

Leviathan takes place in an alternate 1914, weeks before the outbreak of World War I. The political and social landscape of Europe is hugely divided between the Darwinists (the Triple Entente) and the Clankers (the Allies), with the Darwinists relying on genetically engineered animals as technology and the Clankers using enormous walking machines. The story alternates between two brilliant characters -- Deryn Sharp, who has disguised herself to serve on the airship Leviathan; and Alek, the son (but not heir) of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Leviathan follows both of their journeys across Europe as tensions are mounting and violence seems imminent, seemingly separate but actually intertwined. And once they actually meet, things become even more complicated.

I first read Leviathan when I was in 8th grade, right after it first came out, and I've read my copy so many times that it's starting to fall apart. The mixture of history and steampunk sets an enrapturing tone for the book, and Scott Westerfeld's magnificent writing and Keith Thompson's gorgeously intricate illustrations make the reader become fully engrossed.

And if you like Leviathan, why stop there? Unlike me, you won't have to wait a year to get copies of Leviathan's sequels, Behemoth and Goliath, which are -- dare I say it -- even better than Leviathan is.

I really hope you'll grab a copy of Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld sometime over the next few months. You'll be in for an adventure you'll be glad you didn't miss!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Book Review: Infinite in Between by Carolyn Mackler

Hello readers,

Well here it is! The first book review of the TBF season! Without further delay, take a look at Infinite in Between by Carolyn Mackler:

Zoe, Jake, Mia, Gregor, and Whitney meet at freshman orientation. At the end of that first day, they make a promise to reunite after graduation. So much can happen in those in-between years….

Zoe feels like she will live forever in her famous mother’s shadow. Jake struggles to find the right connections in friendship and in love. Mia keeps trying on new identities, looking for one that actually fits. Gregor thought he wanted to be more than just a band geek. And Whitney seems to have it all, until it’s all falling apart around her.

Infinite in Between has some The Breakfast Club undertones. You have the popular girl, the celebrity's daughter, the shy but brilliant student, the jock and the band geek who are all brought together during freshman orientation (just as dreadful as detention). Throughout the novel, the five teens cross paths and some even become friends but they are separated by cliques and different interests. I found it endearing that even though the teens didn't interact together as one big group they are there for each other in small gestures and even get defensive if a secondary character gossips about them.

I loved the timeline in Infinite in Between. The book spans over four years, following all five narrators from freshman year to senior year. You see a lot of character growth from all of them. You'll be surprised on how many rises and falls can happen within four years that can shape and change someone. The challenges that the characters face such as divorce, substance abuse, death, love, betrayal, sexuality and finding your identity I
n the world are elements that all teens can relate to.

Infinite in Between is a must-read especially for teens who are entering high school. As the teens in the novel get older the subject matter does get a little bit mature but it's real and not something to deny or shy away from. I highly recommend Infinite in Between for readers who love The Breakfast Club and want a good heartfelt contemporary novel.

That's it for today! Be sure to check out the blog again for more book reviews and author news!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Meet the New TBF Bloggers

Hello TBF readers,

I hope you guys are excited about the TBF 2016 author updates! (Did you miss it? You can check them out here and here) I'm here to introduce to you to three new TBF bloggers who will be sharing their TBF reads with you. Please give a warm welcome to Theresa, Bridget and Meg!

Hi everyone! My name is Theresa and I’ll be proudly blogging for TBF! I’m a senior in high school and have been attending the Teen Book Festival since 2012. I’ve been volunteering at TBF coming on 4 years. I love reading all kinds of genres but I particularly enjoy fantasy. This will be my first year working on the blog and I can’t wait to share all these great books with you!

I'm Bridget and I am a high school senior. I have been volunteering at TBF for five years and it has been so fun! I love to read realistic and historical fiction as well as dystopian novels.

My name is Meg and I'm a senior! I've gone to TBF (almost) every year since sixth grade whether as a volunteer or an attendee. I love to read fantasy, particularly high fantasy and I love TBF because every year I find new authors to read and enjoy!

Elizabeth, Victoria and myself will be continuing blogging and share with you all the books we read throughout the year!

Be sure to check out the blog next week because I will be posting the first book review of the year!

See you all next week!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

More TBF 2016 Author News

Hello readers!

I hope you all are having a great start to the school year! I am here today to share with you more authors who will be attending TBF 2016 (in case you missed it, TBF 2016 will be held on May 14th, 2016).
  • Tim Federle: author of Better Nate Than Ever, Five, Six, Seven, Nate! and The Great American Whatever     *The Great American Whatever will be released March 2016*
  • Harriet Reuter Hapgood: young adult debut author of The Square Root of Summer     *The Square Root of Summer will be released May 2016*
  • Kekla Magoon: author of The Rock and the River duology, Camo Girl, How It Went Down, 37 Things I Love (In No Particular Order) and Shadows of Sherwood
  • Ridley Pearson: author of the Kingdom Keepers series
  • Steve Sheinkin: nonfiction young adult (the first in TBF history!) of The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery, Lincoln’s Grave Robbers, The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights, Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—The World’s Most Dangerous Weapon and Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War
  • Jessica Spotswood: author of the Born Wicked trilogy and Wild Swans    *Wild Swans will be released April 2016*
  • Robin Talley: author of Lies We Tell Ourselves and What We Left Behind     *What We Left Behind will be released October 27th*
  • Scott Westerfeld (YES, you saw that correctly): author of the Uglies trilogy, the Leviathan series, Afterworlds and the Zeroes series
  • Suzanne Young: author of the A Need So Beautiful series, The Program series and Hotel Ruby     *Hotel Ruby will be released November 3rd*
Also I want to remind all of you about the George Eastman House Photo Finish 5K. Some wonderful people have volunteered to run including some TBF Committee Members, the TBF President Stephanie Squicciarini and our very own TBF author Charles Benoit. Please consider sponsoring or even running in support of TBF! Here is where you can sponsor a runner and here is where you can sign up to run!

Be sure to check out the blog on September 30th as I will be introducing new TBF bloggers and again October 7th for the first book review of the year!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

TBF 2016 Author News

Hello TBF readers!

I hope you all are having a wonderful summer and reading a lot! First, TBF 2016 will be on May 14th, 2016 so mark your calendars. Second, authors are already confirmed for TBF 2016! Here is the list so far:
  • Jesse Andrews: author of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (which recently became a movie adaptation so check out the trailer here)
  • Cathleen Bell Davitt: author of Slipping, Little Blog on the Prairie and I Remember You
  • Charles Benoit: author of You, Fall From Grace, Cold Calls and Snow Job      *Snow Job will be released March 1st, 2016*
  • Ellen Hopkins: author of Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, Tricks, Fallout, Perfect, Tilt, Smoke, Rumble and Traffick      *Traffick, the sequel to Tricks will be released November 3rd*
  • A.S. King: author of The Dust of 100 Dogs, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, Everybody Sees the Ants, Ask the Passengers, Reality Boy, Glory O'Brien's History of the Future and I Crawl Through It      *I Crawl Through It will be released September 22*
  • Mercedes Lackey: author of the Valdemar Universe (which consist of over a dozen books) and so much more that you should check it out here.
  • Carolyn Mackler: author of The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things, the V Valentine series, Tangled, The Future of Us (co-written by TBF Alumni Jay Asher), Best Friend Next Door and Infinite in Between      *Infinite in Between will be released September 1st*
  • Tamora Pierce: author of The Song of the Lioness series, The Immortals series, The Circle of Magic series and so much more that you should check it out right here.
  • Gary Schmidt: author of Anson's Way, Straw Into Gold, Trouble, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, The Wednesday Wars, Okay For Now, What Came From the Stars and Orbiting Jupiter
  • Alan Sitomer: author of The Hoopster series and The Nerd Girls series
  • Janet B. Taylor: debut author of Into the Dim      *This high anticipated book will be released March 1st, 2016*
  • Terry Trueman: TBF mascot and author of Stuck In Neutral, Life Happens Next, Inside Out, Cruise Control, No Right Turn, 7 Days at the Hot Corner and Hurricane
There will be more authors announced in the next few months!

That's it for today! Happy reading!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


How AWESOME was this weekend?! I am still living in a daze, feeling super happy and excited. I promise to do a recap of this fantastic weekend but I feel like there are a lot of thank you's that need to be said (Fair warning: there will be several exclamation points throughout this blog post).

THANK YOU to all of the TBF 2015 authors who came! Thank you for traveling great distances to come to Rochester, possibly getting jet-lagged along the way. Thank you for waking up early in the morning and being great sports and participating in the Truth or Talent game. Thank you for answering our burning questions, inspiring and encouraging us. Thank you for signing our books and getting up and down to take pictures with us. Thank you for coming to Rochester for TBF! It meant THE WORLD to us. We hope you enjoyed coming as much as we loved having you here and will come back to Rochester in the future!

THANK YOU to the publishers! Thank you for sending your wonderfully talented authors to Rochester! We hope you know how much TBF means to us and when you send authors to Rochester, our dreams of meeting our favorite authors come true! Also we hope that you will continue to send more of your authors to Rochester in the future! We love them all!

THANK YOU to all of sponsors! TBF would not be a free event if you weren't for your support! We love TBF and we hope you will continue to support this wonderful festival!

THANK YOU to all of our TBF volunteers! There were over 250 volunteers this year and without you guys, TBF would not have ran so smoothly as it did!

THANK YOU to all of the attendees who came! Thank you for travelling to Rochester. TBF is meant for you guys and by you coming back each year, you make this event super successful. This year, we had over 3,500 attendees which is record-breaking! We love TBF as much as you do! We hope you guys will come back for TBF 2016!

THANK YOU to TBF Committee! Most people don't realize it but you guys work on TBF year-round. The TBF Committee started to plan for TBF 2016 the day after TBF 2015. There are too many things to thank you for that it would take a separate blog post. So THANK YOU. I think you guys deserve a group spa day!

THANK YOU Stephanie Squicciarini! You guys, Stephanie is the heart and soul behind TBF. I am amazed by her energy and devotion towards TBF. Think about all the memories, the laughs and the smiles we shared at the festival. That wouldn't have happened if it weren't for this incredible woman. We can't thank you enough, Stephanie. TBF would not exist if it weren't for you. We look forward to TBF every year and quite a few of us are counting down the days for the next festival already. Please know that your efforts toward TBF are very appreciated!

In case you missed it, TBF 2016 will be held on May 21, 2016! We hope all of you will attend!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

TBF News


TBF is sad to report that, unfortunately, Sarah J. Maas cannot be with us this year.  Sarah fell while on tour, seriously injuring her knee and she has to get home to see a doctor.  We all hope Sarah is feeling better and heals quickly so she can continue her tour for her now BESTSELLING book, A Court of Throne and Roses!  It hit the list last night!  Congrats to Sarah and TBF hopes that she will be with us for TBF 2016. 
TBF 2015 still promises to be an epic and butt-kicking event with 29 freakin' AMAZING authors coming to spend the day with us!  And Sarah is going to try to record a video that we can share with you during the author sessions with Cinda Willams Chima!
Also you do not want to miss TBF Committee member, Sabrina getting her head shaved at the Opening Author Panel! It's going to be crazy!
Here is the TBF map and schedule in case you missed it!
And I happy to announce that TBF 2016 will be held on May 21, 2016! So mark your calendar readers!
We are all looking forward to see you guys this Saturday! Can you believe?!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Book Review: Relic by Heather Terrell

Hey, readers!

Only 3 more days until TBF! I don’t know about you, but I’m super super excited to finally meet all our amazing authors. And since you still have a few days left, why not pick up one last TBF book before the festival – Heather Terrell’s Relic!

Eva and her family live on a desolate Arctic island and are only able to survive through the safety of the Aerie. Every generation, young people are chosen to go through the Testing, an arduous journey and competition to discover ancient Relics within the ice, Relics that tell them the stories of how humanity fell long ago. Eva’s brother was supposed to compete, but after his death during a climbing accident, she decides to take his place – and thereby become the first female Testor in over a century.

But Eva's journey won't be easy at all – after all, it is fairly common for Testors to die. She has to traverse days of frozen wasteland with only the supplies she carries with her, and once she gets to the Testing site, excavation is just as dangerous. And on top of that, she's not sure who she can trust -- especially once she realizes that her brother's death might not have been an accident. Will she survive? And if she does, what will she discover?

I loved Relic so so much. The story is incredibly captivating, and it pulls you in from the first few pages. I was skeptical of the world-building at first, but it ended up being marvelous and as realistic as you can get. Heather Terrell writes Eva with such a convincing voice that the reader is transported into her world and can barely manage to stay away until the novel is finished. I'd totally recommend Relic to anyone interested in dystopias or sci-fi, or anyone who's looking for a great adventure book. You won't be disappointed!

Happy reading!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Tidbits on Meeting Your Favorite TBF Author

Oh my gosh! Only 5 days until TBF!

I’m SO excited for TBF! What about you guys?!

At TBF, our authors are the celebrities so it’s perfectly normal to be star-stuck when you come face-to-face with the authors. When I first started coming to TBF, I was extremely nervous about meeting my favorite authors. After being an attendee at TBF for six years and being an author assistant volunteer for four years, I slowly got used to being around them and talking to them. Trust me; there are still some moments when I get tongue-tied around them. So in this blog post I will share with you some tidbits on what to do when you meet an author.
1. Be yourself 
This is golden. Authors really enjoy interacting with their fans so be yourself.
2. It’s okay to fangirl/fanboy in the presence of an author 
My definition of fangirling/fanboying consists of these sentences:
  • “Oh my gosh! Hi [Insert Author’s name]! I can’t believe I’m finally meeting you!”
  •  “I love books! I love the characters! I LOVE YOU!”
  • “You’re my favorite author! Oh my gosh! Hi!”
  • “Hi! May I please worship the ground you walk on because YOU’RE AMAZING?!”
Yep, I have done this on several accounts. I think authors love it when they meet fans who are just as excited to meet them as they are. They love to know how much you love their books because they pour their heart and soul into them.
3. It’s okay to address them by their first names
You don’t have to address them by “Mister” or “Miss” but you can if you want. I usually address them by their first names. You may have noticed looking at our TBF author line up that there is A.S. King and G. Neri. Do I say “Hey A.S.!” or “Hey G!”? Here’s a little tidbit: A.S. King’s name is Amy and G. Neri’s name is Greg. I do not recommend addressing an author by a nickname that you came up with. However there is one exception (that I know) to this rule. TBF author, Heather Brewer, calls herself “Auntie Heather” (and her fans are called minions). I’m sure it’s okay if you call her “Auntie Heather” since she calls herself that.
4. Be polite
It is NEVER okay to tell any author that you hated their book or hated the ending to a book. It’s not nice and it’s just rude. Plus, if an author does get that sort of comment, the chances of them coming back to TBF are slim to none. They might tell their authors friends that the fans they encountered at this book festival in Rochester NY are not very nice and then those author friends will not want to come. We don’t want that! We love every author that comes to TBF and we want TBF to continue for the many years to come!
5. Have fun!
If you ask authors who write for both adult and teen audiences, they probably will say that they love interacting more with teens than adults. Terry Trueman told me that he loves teen readers because they are fun, friendly and interesting. I’m sure if you ask authors things outside of the book world, they would respond positively.
Are you guys excited to meet our 30 fantastic authors?! I certainly am!
Share who you’re most looking forward to meeting at TBF using the hashtag #ROCTBF2015!


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Updated TBF Autographing Session for Ally Condie

Only 9 more days until TBF, readers! IT'S SINGLE DIGITS NOW!

Everyone on the TBF Committee wants TBF to be fun and organized for all attendees so they are doing some last minute changes to the TBF Schedule. They have decided to change Ally Condie's location for the Autographing Session. Ally Condie will be in the GAC Basement (where Ellen Hopkins will be located for the Autographing Session as well).

Here is the PDF file of the new and improved TBF Schedule and Map!

In case you missed it, check out my secrets and tidbits about the Autographing Session!

Share your excitement for TBF by using the hashtag #ROCTBF2015!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Updated TBF Schedule

Only 10 more days! Gah! So excited!

We made a slight mistake with the TBF Schedule. Jo Knowles will be in GAC 375. Here is the updated TBF schedule.

If you want to make it bigger or print it out, click here!
Also here is the TBF map:
If you want to make it bigger or print it out, click here!
Share you're excitement using the hashtag #ROCTBF2015!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Tidbits on the Autographing Session

Readers! Only 11 days until TBF!

I have been attending TBF for about six years so I can tell you first hand that the Autographing Session is one of the busiest and the most crowded times during the entire festival. However the Autographing Session is extremely fun and exciting. So in this blog post, I'm going to be sharing my secrets and tidbits I picked up about the Autographing Session.
1. You can bring your own books
Yes, you can bring your own books from home. There are no restrictions on that. However, I will recommend that you at least buy one book from the Barnes & Noble booth (that is located in the Gym where the Opening Author Panel, the Autographing Session and the TBF Merchandise booth will be). Not only has Barnes & Noble been a generous sponsor but if you buy some books at the festival, some of the money will go to TBF next year! Cool new books AND help TBF? Win!

2. Alternative to buying books? Buy bookplates 
Have a ton of TBF books you want signed but don't want to carry them all day long? Want some books signed but don't have enough money to buy a book at TBF? Problem solved! At the TBF merchandise booth (right next the Barnes & Noble booth in the Gym), they will be selling bookplates. What are bookplates? Bookplates are stickers that authors can sign for you and afterwards you can stick it in your book! Super light compared to those heavy books.
3. Best time to buy books is before the Author Parade and during the Author Sessions 
In my experience, this is usually the best times to buy books. Usually there is not a crowd at the Barnes & Noble booth before the Author Parade (8:45am). I recommend arriving at the festival around 8:30am if you want to buy books before the Author Parade. I would NOT recommend stopping at the Barnes & Noble booth after the Author Parade. Many attendees will file into the gym and a good number head over to the Barnes & Noble booth. It is very crowded over there at that time period. The other time I suggest buying books is during the Author Sessions. At some point during the day you should eat lunch (the food options are listed here!). Maybe before and after you eat lunch, you can stop over at the Barnes & Noble booth and buy some books. Typically the booth is not crowded because everyone is at an author session or eating lunch.
4. If an author line is SUPER long, please bring only THREE items for the author to sign
It’s no secret that some author lines will be longer than others. What I consider a "super long" author line is 20+ people waiting in line. If the line is super long but you want more than three items signed you can always hop back in line.
Note: PLEASE do NOT ask authors to sign your books, items and have pictures taken after the Author Session. Our authors are on a strict schedule and we do not want them to run late on their next Author Session, lunch break and Autographing Session.

5. If you want a picture with the author, PLEASE ask them

Most authors will happy to take pictures with you but ask them. TBF author assistants will be with the authors so if you want a picture with the author (after they give permission), ask one of the assistants. Or you can take a selfie.

6. It’s okay to ask and talk to the author during the Autographing Session

Usually you have an opportunity to ask questions during the Author Sessions if the author(s) leave enough time at the end for questions (it’s all up to the authors). I totally understand if you are uncomfortable asking questions in front of fifty people during the Author Session. The Autographing Session is a great way to ask questions and fangirl/fanboy over the author.

7. If you want to make sure you get your favorite author’s autograph, get in line ahead of time.

If you are at an Author Session and you sneak out before it ends to be the first person in line for the Autographing Session that is extremely rude to the author. I recommend not going the last author session and sit in line.

8. Some authors will NOT be signing at the Gym

This year, some of our authors will not be at the Gym during the Autographing Session. Instead they will remain in the same location as their Author Sessions. These are the authors who will not be signing in the Gym and their locations during the Autographing Session.
  • Ellen Hopkins (She will be located at the GAC Basement)
  • Sarah Dessen and Gayle Forman (Both authors will be located at the GAC Chapel)
  • Jonathan Maberry, Neal Shusterman and Heather Terrell (This author trio will be located at the Library Study Area)
  • Heather Brewer and A.S. King (Both authors will be at the Shults Forum)
Whew! Lots of important information for you. I hope this helps returning readers and new ones coming to TBF!
And we love hearing and seeing pictures of you at TBF! So make sure you use #ROCTBF2015 to share the experience throughout the day!
Hope you to see you all there soon!

Monday, April 27, 2015

TBF Map, Schedule and Menu

Only 18 days until TBF!

Do you want to know about the TBF Author Panels? What about when the Author Sessions will be? And where the authors will be on Nazareth Campus? Do you want to know about the delicious food stands and trucks? Well you're in luck because I have all the information!

Here's the TBF Map:

To make the map bigger or to print it out, click here.

And here's the TBF Schedule:

To make the schedule bigger or to print it out, you can click here.

To our returning TBF readers, you may have noticed that there are some slight changes to the Autographing Session. Some authors will be not be signing in the gym. Instead they will be signing in the same or near the location where they had their Author Sessions.

Note: PLEASE do NOT ask authors to sign your books, items and have pictures taken after the Author Session. Our authors are on a strict schedule and we do not want them to run late on their next Author Session, lunch break and Autographing Session.
Lastly, here is the food menu for TBF:

Excited now? You should be!

Share your excitement for TBF by using the hashtag #ROCTBF2015!

That's it for today. Check out he blog again for more book reviews, author interviews and more!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Book Review: Crank by Ellen Hopkins

   Crank is not for the faint of heart, but it is definitely a novel that a person needs to read at least once in their life. Ellen Hopkins artistically writes this realistic fiction book with a smidge of romance entirely in free poetic verse, although that doesn't deter the reader from uncovering the nitty gritty harsh realities of life with addiction.

    My all-time favorite part of this book was Kristina/ Bree. Watching her transformation from a normal high school teenager, into a meth addict and drug dealer was emotionally tumultuous for me. I connected so much to her character. Her initial relatable nature makes the journey she travels through addiction even more harrowing, as each time Bree lost herself further into the cycle of meth I felt it a personal failure on my part for my inability to steer her in the right direction (irrational as that may be).  However, her rawness and vulnerability made me root for her the entire book, while also becoming horrified at some of the corrupt company she later keeps, such as Brendan.
     Furthermore, the maddening situations Emma faces in Crank, also make this novel phenomenal for its brutal honesty. Although I refuse to give any spoilers, I will say that the escalating dramatic circumstances that Kristina/ Bree face were at times heart-wrenching, but always laced with the ring of truth to cleverly warn others of the dangers of addiction without seeming like a boring informational or even preachy read.

    Ellen Hopkins truly pours her heart and soul into this novel, which is evident in the lyrical flow and amazing characterization of the main character Bree. As a reader, I rooted for Bree, I cried with Bree, and I grew up with Bree as she learns the grim reality of being an addict! Therefore, I consider this book a must-read for all teenagers, as it is a wonderful read that brings you up close and personal with the true nature of addiction.For those who love it just as much as I do, and desire to know what happens after a major cliffhanger; please be sure to check out the rest of Bree's journey throughout this series in Glass and Fallout!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Book Review: Sweet by Emmy Laybourne

Less than three weeks until TBF!

I recently read Emmy Laybourne’s new book SWEET and let me tell you, it was a delicious read. Take a look:

*People would kill to be thin.*

Solu’s luxurious celebrity-filled “Cruise to Lose” is billed as “the biggest cruise since the Titanic,” and if the new diet sweetener works as promised—dropping five percent of a person’s body weight in just days—it really could be the answer to the world’s obesity problem. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She’s already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host, Tom Forelli (otherwise known as the hottest guy ever!) and she’s too seasick to even try the sweetener. And that’s before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.

*But will they die for it, too?*
Tom Forelli knows that he should be grateful for this job and the opportunity to shed his childhood “Baby Tom-Tom” image. His publicists have even set up a ‘romance’ with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get a bit wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when his celebrity hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it’s Laurel that he’s determined to save.

Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly, wrong.

I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading SWEET. Was it a thriller? Was it a romance novel? Was it a crazy, horror contemporary novel? The answer: it was all three! I love that SWEET is a mixture of different genres that made it a perfect read.

The thing I love about SWEET is Solu, the new diet artificial sweetener. Even though Solu is definitely not a character in the story, it can easily be one. If I were to personify Solu, it would be the charismatic popular kid, who everyone loves, wants to be best friends with and will do anything to have Solu attend their party. It even outshines all the celebrities on the cruise ship as well as the main characters. Solu seems pretty harmless because it’s an artificial sweetener. And Solu does exactly what it’s supposed to do: help people lose weight. Soon everyone becomes obsessed with Solu and there’s no turning back on this addiction. Thankfully, our main character, Laurel and Tom, refuse to fall into this sugary sweet trap because Solu has a dark side.

I highly recommend SWEET to readers who enjoy Matt de la Pen’s THE LIVING. You can check out my book review of that book here.

Unfortunately, SWEET will not be released in time for TBF. However, you can get a bookplate signed by Emmy Laybourne so you can stick it inside your book when it comes out June 2. Be sure to check out the prequel e-novella, EXPELLED, which is available May 5. Preorder it now on Kindle and NOOK.

To our future filmmakers, check out the super sweet contest, hosted by MacTeen Books (NOT TBF blog). Make a video to promote Solu and you can win amazing prizes! The deadline for this video contest is May 15th, just before TBF so get to it readers!

For more information on Emmy and her books check out her website. Also follow her on Twitter and Facebook page.

That’s it for today! See you guys soon!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Hello readers,


My last book review was on Sarah J. Maas’s highly anticipated new book called A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES which comes out May 5th (Make sure you pre-order this book! When you pre-order A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES, you will receive special book swag from the publisher. The swag includes a bookmark and a temporary tattoo. For more information on how to receive the book swag check it out here). In case you missed the book review, you can read it here. I had briefly talked about Sarah’s other series, THRONE OF GLASS and I thought that didn’t elaborate why this series is incredible. So today’s book review is all about the first book in the THRONE OF GLASS series.

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Although I’m going to be talking about the first book in the series, I recommend reading THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE before starting the THRONE OF GLASS series. THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE is a prequel book filled with five novellas. The prequel novel will get you familiar with the world, the characters and will give readers insight as to why Celaena, the main character, is the way she is in THRONE OF GLASS.
While there are several reasons why THRONE OF GLASS was fantastic, I’ll talk about the two big things that stood out to me. One reason was Erilea, the world that the THRONE OF GLASS series is set in. I praise high fantasy writers because of the creativity that goes into world-building. I am baffled at the different character names, city names and country names that Sarah made up. I constantly looked up the THRONE OF GLASS pronunciation cheat sheet which you can check out here. When I was reading THRONE OF GLASS, I was completely mesmerized by the few places Celaena describes. The first book primarily focuses on Rifthold, the city where the King of Adarlan lives as well as where the competition takes place. I am hoping as the series continues, we will learn more about the different cities in Erilea.

The second reason why I loved THRONE OF GLASS is the main character Celaena Sardothien. I love the fact that Celaena Sardothien is incredibly flawed. She is very stubborn, headstrong, arrogant and sometimes vain. I feel that negative personality traits are not highlighted enough in books, especially with the protagonist. Celaena is a different case. She is aware of her flaws but accepts them. I’m not saying that Celaena is unlikable main character, she is. While Celaena is physically strong since she is a trained assassin, she is strong emotionally, mentally and morally. She is very intelligent, brave and passionate. These positive personality traits are what attracts the attention of a foreign princess who wishes to be friends with Celaena as well as the possible love interests. There are also some secrets that Celaena has but does not share them with the other characters including the readers. We just have to continue reading the THRONE OF GLASS series to figure out this mysterious assassin.
I highly recommend the THRONE OF GLASS series to readers who want to read about a strong heroine, a high fantasy series and a thrilling plot. Readers who enjoyed HIS FAIR ASSASSIN trilogy and the GRACELING REALM novels will also love this series.

I also urge you to check out Sarah J. Maas's THRONE OF GLASS Pinterest board. By looking at the pins you may figure out what is in stores for Celaena and come up with guesses for what will happen in the next book (By the way, the fourth book in the series, QUEEN OF SHADOWS will be released in September of this year so make sure you remember to have a bookplate signed by Sarah! Bookplates will be sold at the TBF merchandise booth, right next to the Barnes and Noble table.) And to all of you soon-to-be THRONE OF GLASS fans, the somewhat official fandom name is Firehearts. You'll understand why when you read the third book, HEIR OF FIRE.

That’s it for today. Be sure to check out the blog again for more book reviews, author interviews and more!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Book Review: Unremembered by Jessica Brody

Hey, everyone!

I am so excited to review Unremembered by Jessica Brody today. I actually got my copy of it signed at TBF 2013 by her. One of my favorite parts during TBF is when you get to have your books signed by the authors! She was super nice and is an amazing author. I’m so glad she’s coming back to TBF this year!

Check out Unremembered:

When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.

Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories
period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.

Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?

From popular young adult author Jessica Brody comes a compelling and suspenseful new sci-fi series, set in a world where science knows no boundaries, memories are manipulated, and true love can never be forgotten.

Doesn’t that sound awesome? It is.

Let me tell you, this story goes fast. It keeps you entertained and intrigued as the mystery of who this girl is unravels with every page you turn. Though the plot line may seem like something that is old and worn, this book is far from the usual. I found there to be an element of the unknown always lurking and teasing me as I read. Plot twists throughout the story made it interesting and compelled me to never put the book down until I reached the end. I don’t know how to explain it better than that without spoiling any details for you!

Violet, as the girl is named in the beginning before she remembers her name, is placed in care of a foster family until her next of kin can be located, but the one who finds her is a boy who claims to know her before the crash. His name is Zen, and he won’t let her go. Together, we follow them as Violet tries to remember her past and unlocks some sinister things. The thing I liked about the characters from the book is that they seemed realistic. For example, Violet didn’t know a ton of stuff. She’s amnesic; she’s not supposed to.  Another example, Kiyana, Violet’s nurse, is super sweet and kind when the amnesic girl wakes up. Kiyana makes her feel as comfortable as she can in a hospital not knowing anything. That is something a nurse in her situation would do, I feel.

Overall, I loved this book. Jessica Brody is a great writer, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. Yes, everybody, there is more to this story! Isn’t that always a great thing to find out? I think so. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy science-fiction, romance, and amnesic people struggling to find not only their past lives, but their present and future ones too.

I hope your day is filled with wonderful books!