Monday, December 31, 2012

Favorite Reads of 2012

In keeping with tradition (2011), I wanted to list my best reads for this year.  I was lucky enough to discover some great great book, and I'd love to share them with you!

My favorite reads (in no particular order):

Wonder (R.J. Palacio): 
I can't gush enough about this book.  I've already bought numerous copies for people I know and have lent mine out so much that it's started to wear and tear.  This book has so much heart and love, and Auggie is one of my favorite literary characters now.  I have a feeling this book is going to win the Newbury this year.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home (Carol Rifka Brunt):
I tried to read this book as slow as possible, because I didn't want it to end.  It's set in the 80s and narrated by a girl who reminded me a lot of myself when I was young.  The social times and topics were ones that concerned me growing up, and Brunt writes beautifully.  I cried numerous times during this novel and had to sit and quietly think about it for a long time when I finished.  I read it a few months ago, and it's still present in my mind.

What Happens Next (Colleen Clayton):
This is a book that is so much grounded in setting that you can't help but want to live in Syd's world (which I kind of do, because it takes place in the setting where I grew up!).  This is also an important book for teenagers to read because it deals with some tough issues that aren't always talked about.  It's a very powerful read, the writing is beautiful, and sid is one of the characters I've met in a long time.

Dare Me (Megan Abbott):
This is a bad girl book about cheerleaders gone very very bad!  I was drawn in by Abbot's dark, noir-like writing and the book moved at a fast pace that kept me turning the pages.  I wanted to find out what happened and Abbott didn't hold back.  It's a wild ride.

Infinite Sky (C.J. Flood):
This book is cheating a bit, because it's an ARC and you can't read it yet (but you can soon!).  This is Flood's first novel and everything about this book is gorgeous.  The world that Flood creates is so vivid and heartbreaking.  It's a stunning debut and a book that I know I'll read more than once.

The Fault in Our Stars (John Green):
Do I even need to explain why I picked this one?  Just go back to my past posts and watch me turn all fan-girl over John Green.  How to sum up this book...I cried, and then cried, and then cried some more.

Butter (Erin Jade Lange):
Oh goodness, BUTTER is just so great.  I had read the premise of the book over a year ago and instantly knew I wanted to read it.  You fall in love with the main character "Butter" right from the start and cheer for him the entire book.  My students love this book.

Cracked (K.M. Walton):
This book wowed me because of Walton's ability to show bullying from both sides...the victim and the bully, and you end up connecting to both of the characters.  This is another book that I push into the hands of my students and they all come back to me telling me how incredible it was.

I know there are books I've forgotten, but these are some of the ones that have stuck with me.  What about you?  What have some of your favorite reads of 2012 been?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Debut Author Challenge 2013

You only have a few more days to sign up for the Debut Author Challenge at Hobbitsies' blog!

Right now there are over 250 people who are up to the challenge.

It should be a lot of fun, and CANARY has been appearing on many people's lists (yay!).

If you've added to CANARY to your challenge list, add the link to your post in the comment box or e-mail it to me (  I'll contact you, so I can mail you a swag pack of CANARY goodies!

2013 is going to have some great books!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Snowy in Cleveland

We're covered in about six inches of snow here in Cleveland right now, but it's all good.  I've got lots of coffee, lots of writing, and the first season of Homeland.  Have you watched it?  It's addicting!

Radley is loving herself some snow!

Hope it's warmer where you are!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Great Gatsby Movie Posters

I honestly don't think I can wait until May 10th.  I might explode from excitement!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Written As A High School Teacher

It hurts my heart that my students now have to learn to practice lockdowns in the way that I once practiced fire drills in school.

My students know exactly what to do in any area of the school if we go into lockdown.  They know the words to distinguish between the real thing and a drill and how to hide.  They know how to make the classroom look completely empty of any student.  They know where to put their bookbags, what to do with their computer monitors, what to do if they are in a hallway or bathroom, and what signal to look for to know that it is all clear.

Two years ago, it would have been next to impossible to get my students to stay quiet during one of these drills and take it seriously.


Now they practice the drill in complete silence and ask me if they did it right when it's all over because of the reality of our world today.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Found! The Perfect Christmas Gift!

Christmas is only two weeks away (two weeks...what!?!).  Do you have all your Christmas shopping done?

If not, I'd like to suggest this wonderful book I know called CANARY (and I hear the author is pretty swell too!).

CANARY doesn't come out until August 1, 2013, but you can pre-order it here!  And so you have something to give to the lucky gift giver, I'll send you a pre-order Christmas pack...woo-hoo!

What it includes:

*A CANARY bookmark (one for you and one for the person you're giving it to, because everyone should get a treat at Christmas!)

*A CANARY postcard with the cover on the front and summary on the back

(back of postcard)
*A CANARY notecard with a message from me about receiving the book in August

*A set of recycled sweater hand warmers so you have something little to wrap up (they are jasmine scented and you just have to put them in the microwave to heat up and keep your hands warm)

All you need to do is e-mail me ( your pre-order receipt, your address, and the name of the person getting the gift.  I'll send it all out ASAP, so it's ready to give on Christmas.

IMPORTANT: I am only offering this until Monday, December 17th, so I can make sure everything is shipped out in time.

And you can give a little gift to me by clicking the "Like" button on the top of CANARY's Amazon page to let me know you think the book is the bomb diggity!  (you have to be logged in to click "like")

Monday, December 3, 2012

In the Wild

I just found out some ARCs of CANARY have been sent out!  It's in the wild!  

Book bloggers, librarians, and teachers...if you're interested in requesting an ARC for review, please fill out the form at the bottom of the tab at the bottom of the page that says REQUEST A REVIEW COPY.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Conversation With My Husband

The news just showed a story about a school that is banning THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER b/c of the sexuality and suicide in it.  My conversation with my hubs, Jason, about what the school was doing went as such:

Me:  That is ridiculous!  How much do you want to bet that the kids read ROMEO AND JULIET there in English class?

Jason:  What does that have to do with it?

Me:  In ROMEO AND JULIET the kids get married so they can have sex and then kill themselves right after because they can't be together.  Why don't they ban that?

Jason:  Because no one can understand what the heck is going on in that play.  Shakespeare doesn't make any sense.

Me:  Fair enough.

*Although I still think it's ludicrous that the school is banning books...especially this one.  Ugh!  Censorship sucks!