Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm

Hey guys,

So I checked out the TBF Facebook page to see our progress of  the TBF Facebook challenge and I was very pleased to see 737 "likes". Yay, you guys are doing an awesome job! I love seeing the number of "likes" but I would love even more if we could see the TBF Committee dance Gangnam style at the festival. In order to see the Committee dance, we need 763 more "likes". If we manage to reach our Facebook challenge by 1/1/13, it's possible that someone might record it and put it on YouTube....tempting isn't it? So we need those 763 "likes" by 1/1/13, that's less than 2 months!

One of the many things I like about Thanksgiving is thinking of all the things I'm grateful for. I know Elizabeth and I are grateful for TBF because we've become friends and made new friends in the Rochester area, thanks to TBF. For the first giveaway of the year, tell us what you're thankful for about TBF by posting a comment. The giveaway ends 12/4/12 and only one person will recieve a gift card for $10 to spend on TBF merchandise. Note, that the gift card can only be used the day of the festival, 5/19/13 and cannot be used for books, only TBF merchandise. Over the years, there have been a lot of cool things like a TBF T-shirt, bag and more!

Alright, back to my book review for the week. I recently read Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm, a debuting author. One of my favorite movies is Legally Blonde starring Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods. I can see a similiarity between Elle Woods and Libby Kelting, the main character in the book. Take a look:

 Libby Kelting had always felt herself born out of time. No wonder the historical romance-reading, Jane Austen-adaptation-watching, all-around history nerd jumped at the chance to intern at Camden Harbor, Maine’s Oldest Living History Museum. But at Camden Harbor Libby’s just plain out of place, no matter how cute she looks in a corset. Her cat-loving coworker wants her dead, the too-smart-for-his-own-good local reporter keeps pushing her buttons, her gorgeous sailor may be more shipwreck than dreamboat — plus Camden Harbor’s haunted. Over the course of one unforgettable summer, Libby learns that boys, like ghosts, aren’t always what they seem.

In Legally Blonde and Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink, other characters underestimate the heroine's intelligence because they're into designer labels. What I love about these fabulous heroines is that they will prove other characters wrong. Even when people admit they misjudged her, Elle and Libby are still nice to them. I think Libby would be a perfect role model because she is kind and friendly and has a passion for history.

I recommend Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink to readers who want a quick, easy read and like laugh-out-loud hilarious books.

So add this to your "to-read" list. After reading Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink and you're craving for more Libby Kelting (that is a promise!), do not fear, the sequel, Confederates Don't Wear Couture next Summer. If you want to know more about Stephanie Kate Strohm, check out her Facebook page.

Enjoy the vacation!


Find all Stephanie's books available in the Monroe County Library System here.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

I’d been meaning to read The Adoration of Jenna Fox for months, if not years. Every once in a while it would pop up unexpectedly as I was either perusing Barnes & Noble or looking through the library. The time finally came to read it for this blog, & I’m really happy that I finally did.

Jenna Fox has been in a coma for eighteen months. When she awakes, she finds herself surrounded by her family --- but she can’t remember them, or really anything else about her life before. As the days pass, she only comes to remember what she is told, like how she loved ballet, as well as small snippets of memories. But as the weeks wear on, Jenna realizes that something is not right. Her parents won’t tell her what’s wrong, so she decides to find out for herself what it is. But once she does, how will she deal with the knowledge and its impact?

I really, really loved this book. When it begins, the story feels very quaint --- you know it’s a modern book and that the story takes place in the future, but it has this familiar, yet unique, feeling to it. Jenna was very interesting as a character; she knows nothing about herself at the beginning of the novel, so as a reader, it was cool to journey with her, learning about her as she learns about herself. And on top of that all, there are themes in this book! Whenever I find a YA book with themes it makes me incredibly happy. The Adoration of Jenna Fox’s themes became more evident as the story played out (I won’t give any spoilers), and made me actually think about the subjects brought up. 

I would definitely recommend The Adoration of Jenna Fox to anyone needing a new series. There are two more books in the trilogy, and we’ll be reviewing them here later on. You can visit Mary E. Pearson at her website , & follow her on Twitter as well. I hope you’ll come see her at the festival in May!
Happy reading!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

Hey guys!
Good news: we’re making progress on the Facebook challenge! We currently have 715 “likes”. But don’t stop now. We still need 785 “likes” if we want the TBF Committee to dance Gangnam style at the opening assembly. The Facebook challenge ends 1/1/13! That’s less than 2 months! Please spread the word to your friends and family. You could post something on their wall about it.

During the long weekend, I stayed home and read all day. I just finished reading Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks. This will appeal to readers who like manga and graphic novels. Even if you're not interested in graphic novels, never judge a book just by looking at it. At first, I wasn’t really keen on the idea of looking at drawings/pictures and "read". But as I began to read more graphic novels and manga, I was obsessed. I love how they’re quick, short, easy reads. As a visual person, I felt like I'm watching a movie. Instead of reading how the character felt, I could exactly see the emotion.
With that being said, take a look at Friends With Boys:

A coming-of-age tale with a spooky twist!
Maggie McKay hardly knows what to do with herself. After an idyllic childhood of homeschooling with her mother and rough-housing with her older brothers, it’s time for Maggie to face the outside world, all on her own. But that means facing high school first. And it also means solving the mystery of the melancholy ghost who has silently followed Maggie throughout her entire life. Maybe it even means making a new friend—one who isn’t one of her brothers.

Funny, surprising, and tender, Friends with Boys is a pitch perfect YA graphic novel full of spooky supernatural fun.
Even though it can be “spooky”, Faith Erin Hicks does a brilliant job keeping the audience entertained. And the drawings are so unique and different! She’s definitely talented, folks. She draws better than I do by a long shot.

Thanksgiving break is just around the corner, so stop at your local library and catch up on some reading. Make sure you check out Friends With Boys along with Faith Erin Hicks’s other graphic novels; The War on Ellsmere and Zombies Calling.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Every Day by David Levithan

I saw this book in the new section at my local library a few months ago & decided that I needed to take it out; after all, my friends have been bugging me for months to read David Levithan’s books. So I said what the heck, & I got it, & boy am I glad I did.

Every single day of his life, A has woken up in a new person’s body. He’s always been that way, and over the years, although he hasn’t come to like it, he’s grown to accept his difference. A’s learned to keep his distance from others --- if he doesn’t make friends, it won’t hurt to leave them at the end of the day. He’s abided by this one rule until the day he wakes up in Justin’s body and meets Justin's girlfriend Rhiannon. She’s unlike anyone else he’s ever met, & despite himself, A falls in love with her. After he leaves Justin’s body that night, he can’t get Rhiannon out of his mind, and he decides to try to find her again. But if A changes bodies every day, how could he ever hope to make her love him back?

I LOVED Every Day. I’ve read other books that Levithan has co-written, so I knew a bit what his style was like, but I loved reading a whole that he’d written by himself. In Every Day, I felt such a great connection with A. I think what appealed to me the most was that he has to try to figure out every single day who he is, over and over and over --- and what teen does not feel that extremely often?

Overall, Every Day is a book that I love & would totally recommend. You can visit David Levithan’s website here.This will be David Levithan’s third time at TBF (he came in 2007 and 2009), and I am extremely excited to meet him in May.
Happy reading!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Shadowlands by Kate Brian

Hello readers!

Quick reminder to Facebook users: if we get 1500 "likes", the entire TBF committee will have to dance Gangnam style at the opening assembly in front everyone including our 2013 writing celebrities! Click here if you have no idea what Gangnam style is
If you want to see our very own Stephanie Squicciarini dance Gangnam style, "like" the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival Facebook page!/pages/Greater-Rochester-Teen-Book-Festival/165678353823?fref=ts
Currently, we only have 654 "likes" and need 846 "likes". We need your help so spread the word to your friends, family, classmates, teachers and local librarians.

For TBF 2013, Kate Brian will be joining us! She is a "New York Best-Selling Author" of the Private and Privilege series. Attention to all Pretty Little Liars fans: You will fall in LOVE with Shadowlands as well as the Private and Privilege series.

Rory Miller had one chance to fight back and she took it. Rory survived… and the serial killer who attacked her escaped. Now that the infamous Steven Nell is on the loose, Rory must enter the witness protection with her father and sister, Darcy, leaving their friends and family without so much as a goodbye.

Starting over in a new town with only each other is unimaginable for Rory and Darcy. They were inseparable as children, but now they can barely stand each other. As the sisters settle in to Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation island, it seems like their new home may be just the fresh start they need. They fall in with a group of beautiful, carefree teens and spend their days surfing, partying on the beach, and hiking into endless sunsets. But just as they’re starting to feel safe again, one of their new friends goes missing. Is it a coincidence? Or is the nightmare beginning all over again?

One of the many things I like about this book is the thrill and suspense. I jumped right into it within the first chapter. Since Kate Brian's writing is really well written, I actually feel like I'm Rory. On the vacation island, Juniper Landing, things are very fishy. There happens to be no mail, newsletters and Internet connection. The vacationers and residents are pretty suspicious too, hiding secrets and lying to save themselves. I must admit that being at Juniper Landing was like being in the Twilight Zone. When I finished, I was dying to know when the sequel to Shadowlands will be out.

Unfortunately, Shadowlands is not coming out until January 8th, 2013. In the meantime, you should check out Kate Brian's Private and Privilege series

Be sure to check out the blog to see some author interviews and giveaways!


Find all of Kate's books that are available in the Monroe County Library System here.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither by Lauren DeStephano review

I first read Wither almost two years ago. I picked it up off of the “New” shelf at my local library, read it within a few days, and positively loved it. So I was oh-so-happy to find out that I needed to re-read it for our TBF blog.

Rhine is sixteen, only four years away from the certain death that genetic experiments brought upon humans a generation ago. Now all women die at age twenty, and men at twenty-five. Rhine, like many other teenagers, has been kidnapped by Gatherers and sold to a rich family in order to marry its heir and produce children. Rhine finds herself in a totally new world, filled with luxuries and excess, so different from the hunger and fear that she and her twin brother were familiar with. But this new world also denies her freedom. All Rhine wants to do is to escape this prison and be reunited with her brother, and Gabriel, one of the servants whom she forms an attachment to, might be able to help her. But even with his help, how will they manage to escape?

Wither is a scary, awesome (as well as scarily awesome) book. I personally loved it, precisely because it deals with such a terrifying idea. Although our world probably won’t end up like Rhine’s did, it’s still a harrowing possibility to think about. Wither was such a great book not only because it imagined such a horrible world (especially, I think, for female readers), but also because this book is also literary. The first time I read it, Wither seemed to be just another dystopian sci-fi book. After reading it again, the themes (especially of freedom) really hit home with me. Rhine is also incredibly strong and beautiful in her thoughts, and is extremely capable of being profound.She's the kind of heroine I really like, precisely because she thinks, and the reader can see her thinking as the story goes on.

Wither is the first book in the Chemical Garden trilogy. The second book, Fever, is already out and the third book, Sever, comes out early next year. (Check back in a while to see our reviews of them!) This is Lauren DeStefano’s first time at TBF, and you can find her on the web at . I hope you’ll come hear her speak in May!

Happy reading!