Wednesday, June 29, 2011

And Another Bookish Heartsy That Could be Potterific.[Deals]

With all of the Pottermania going on, I couldn't help but share this one!  Piebald on Heartsy is selling these amazing Golden Snitch locket necklaces (and yeah, I totally snatched one up).

They also have an Alice pendant and a whole lotta Steampunk fun.  
And since we both get $5 if you sign up today, it'd make your deal $4 for $22 worth of awesome.  If you're already signed up and used your first credit, it's still only $9 for $22 and that should cover the cost of your necklace plus shipping!  I've purchased a few things from Kelli at Piebald before, and I am a totally satisfied customer, and totally recommend her stuff!  

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hourglass by Myra McEntire [Book Inspection] [YA]

Plot Sketch:  See there's this chick named Emerson.  She lives with her brother, Thomas, and his wife, Dru, because her parents died four years ago in a freak accident.  Oh, and she sees dead people.  She started seeing them a couple of months before her parents died, and they only went a way when she was put in the looney bin and medicated beyond recognition.  Her brother took her out of the looney bin, and she weaned herself off her meds, but didn't tell him.  Now, she can sees dead people, and jazz trios, again.  And she hates it, but not as much as she hates not being able to feel anything.  When she touches the spectres, they go away kind of like a pop.  And her brother knows about it, sent her off to boarding school for a while, until she had an episode and her scholarship disappeared, and he's been trying all the while to find someone to help her.  Psychic.  Healer. Witch.  Someone.  Anyone.  And then he meets Michael from Hourglass.  And he hires him to help Emerson.  Oh and did I mention he's drop dead gorgeous?  And when they touch, lightbulbs literally break.  But being together is against Hourglass's rules and Thomas's.  And this is the story of how they navigate those rules, an evil genius, and time itself.

Verdict:  Chances are you've seen something positive about this book.  It deserves whatever praise it's been given.  It's been over a year since a book kept me up all night, and this one did the trick, me starting at pate 90 at 1am and finishing slightly after 5am (I'm a night owl, okay, but I was planning on reading until around 2).  I loved the characters, especially how the main character was this strong, kick-arse girl but she was still emotionally vulnerable.  I loved how the teens were smart, but not wise.  They made mistakes like teenagers do, not yet learning to separate their emotions and their actions.  I loved that I was so involved with the plot that not only could I not put down the book with sixty pages left, I couldn't put down the book with three hundred pages left! I loved that this book let me geek out a little about all of the time travel and time theories.  I loved that I was so connected with the characters that I actually swore at the end of chapter forty-four, and immediately had to keep reading even though my heart was broken.  And the thing I think I loved most of all was that there was resolution at the end.  This book might be the first in the series, but it doesn't feel that way.  Hourglass was a complete story.  Oh how I can't wait for more, and I hope you'll give it a chance!

Location: Nashville, I think.  Though she went to boarding school here in Arizona.  In Sedona.
Favorite Character: So hard.  There are so many good ones.  But I'll go with Emerson.  For the same reasons I enumerated above.
Would Change: There's a few parts where the chapters jump a little and it feels like you missed a chapter during the first 100 pages.  And I was largely confused about who the heck Jack was for the longest time.  But the rest was so amazing, I was willing to put those aside.
Favorite Line: "I am sorry."  Kaleb grinned at me.  "Sorry I didn't meet you first."  Squee!
Good for Monster? No way, Jose.  Girly book through and through.  Though, now that I think of it, he did like Shiver.  Hmmm.  Maybe.
People Who Will Like This: nerdy and geeky girls (and McKayla to know the difference), Superman, and Buffy
People Who Won't Like This: boys who feel like Twilight stole their wives, the CEO of AirTran, and Frank McCourt ('cause I think Emerson knows more about baseball than he does!)
Chapters:  56.  Great chapter lengths for me.  Short sweet, and undaunting.  Which made me keep turning the pages!
Author's Website
Acquire It:   Amazon     Book Depository    Changing Hands

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs [Book Inspection]

Plot Sketch:  Jacob's grandfather has been telling him a lot of stories since he was a little guy.  Now a teen, he's weeded out which are plausible and which are not - and none of them are.  He still loves his grandfather, perhaps more than anyone else, and loves to hear his stories.  Even though they've had to lock up his gramps' guns to keep everyone safe, Jacob still makes time to visit his granddad.  Then, tragedy strikes, and when  Jacob investigates, he is catapulted into the 1940s during a lufftwafe raid on England during WWII, and a remote home full of peculiar children.  And he finds out that maybe, just maybe his grandfather wasn't so crazy after all.

Verdict:  A unique story, untold in today's fiction market.  You'll enjoy the photos (which are authentic, by the way, and largely unaltered), the nostalgia, and the creativity that Ransom Riggs brings to the page.  The first third will read rather quickly, as will the last third, with the middle being almost painfully slow and redundant with impertinent detail.  Though the prose is mainly written well, and enjoyable, it drops off in the middle, and like the pacing, picks up again in the end.  The ending leaves room for a sequel but does not guarantee one, which I liked a lot.  I don't feel like I'm left on a cliff dangling and yearning for more, but I am interested to see what might happen with Jacob and the peculiar children in the next leg of their journey.  Bottom line?  I'd recommend this based solely on it's inventiveness.  Riggs wove a story around odd photos.  I mean, time loops, ymbrynes, and children with capabilities tantamount to super powers?  So fun.  Give it a try.  It's earned it's place on the NYT Bestsellers List.

Location: mostly 1940s England
Favorite Character: Emma.  She was so fun.  And she could throw fire, which is you know, awesome.
Would Change: The pacing and plot in the middle.  Tighten it up and eliminate the fluff.
Favorite Line: Not a largely quotable novel, but "As for him, God help us if that's all our wardrobes have to look forward to."  It was hilarious in context.
Good for Monster? I'm on the fence.  He'd probably like it, but I don't know if I could convince him to give it a chance.  It's got more description than I generally like and that means it's usually a good bet for him.
People Who Will Like This: circus freaks, magicians, those who feel passed over by society, daydreamers, and those who wish they could live in the 40s.
People Who Won't Like This: hallows, smart alecks, monsters, and those who failed history
Chapters:  11.  And some of them are waaaaaay too long.  I wish it would have been more like 30 chapters.
Author's Website:
Acquire It:   Amazon    Book Depository    Changing Hands
Notes: 20th Century Fox has already snapped up the movie rights for this puppy!

Hardcover: 352 pages

Publisher: Quirk Books
Publish Date: June 7, 2011
ISBN-10: 1594744769

The It's Not What You Read It's Where You Read It Challenge: (no. it's not too late to join.)
Twist Your House / Place of Commerce / Move / Nature / You Don't Call Home / Probably Shouldn't / In Pairs

Oh, that's right.  I knocked out three categories on this sucker.  I read it in Nature for an hour on a hike at Girls Camp.  I read it at the cabin, which is a place I don't call home.  And I read it while others were reading inside my cabin for an additional hour, so woot.  How are you doing?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Diversify Your Summer Reading Challenge [Reading Challenge]

We told you about the tour.  We even hosted a giveaway.  Now we're telling you about an awesome summer reading challenge that will put you in the running to win  forty, yes 40, books.

What do you have to do?  Well, you have to read some books.  Some Diversity in YA books.  That means "you can read whichever diverse books you like! By diverse we mean: (1) main characters or major secondary characters (e.g., a love interest or best friend kind of character) who are of color or are LGBT; or (2) written by a person of color or LGBT author."  You can check out lists at Reading In Color or New Releases at Diversity in YA.

Okay, you've read.  Now what?  You write a 500 word max essay on what you learned and what the experience did for you.  (I know, I know, sounds like an assignment!)  Then you post that essay in a public place (think a blog, Facebook (as long as you open it up so that everyone can read it), or some other public forum) and submit your link here.

Sounds like a good thing to do even if you don't win, right?  Help spread the word about the awesome that's in YA and how diverse it can be. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Lying Game Read Along #7 [Read Along Discussion]

Yeah, discussion up early because I suspect you've finished already!!

  • Garrett tries to sleep with Emma.
  • Emma runs away.
  • Girls go looking for Emma.
  • Emma runs away again.
  • Ethan saves her.
  • Ethan drives her, convinces her to stay.
  • Emma goes home as Sutton.
  • Assumes role again.

1. "I was rescuing you, Sutton.  Landry had you trapped."  Discuss.
2.  Who killed Sutton (if she's dead)?
3. How much do you trust Ethan?
4. Do you think Emma made the right decision to stay?
5. What was your favorite part of the book?

Kay, let's just discuss what worked and what didn't work in the book, and what you think will happen next!!

SYNC YA Literature into Your Earphones [Audiobooks] [Freebies]

2 Free Audiobook Downloads Each Week
June 23 - August 17, 2011

Teens and other readers of Young Adult Literature will have the opportunity to listen to bestselling titles and required reading classics this summer.   Each week  from June 23 - August 17, 2011, SYNC will offer two free audiobook downloads.

The audiobook pairings will include a popular YA title and a classic that connects with the YA title's theme and is likely to show up on a student's summer reading lists.  For example, Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, the first book in a popular series with strong allusions to Romeo & Juliet, will be paired with Shakespeare's classic.

To find out when you can download titles to listen to on the run this summer, visit or text syncya to 25827.

Summer 2011 SYNC Titles

6/23/11 - 6/29/11
Shiver By Maggie Stiefvater
Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
The Trial by Franz Kafka

Where the Streets Had a Name by Randa Abdel-Fattah
A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
Beowulf by Francis B. Gummere [Trans.]

Chanda's Secrets by Allan Stratton
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Ashes, Ashes  by Jo Treggiari
Rescue: Stories of Survival From Land and Sea by Dorcas S. Miller [Ed.]

Immortal by Gillian Shields
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Storm Runners by Roland Smith
The Cay by Theodore Taylor

The Lying Game Read Along #6 [Read Along Discussion]

Oh my gosh.  How hard was it to not finish?!?!


  • There's the Medea thing at school
  • The apology to Nisha which isn't accepted
  • The finding of a note from Thayer for Laurel in Sutton's locker
  • Mani Pedis at Mr. Pinky with Laurel
  • Returning of note to Laurel
  • Tennis courts with Ethan
  • Invite Ethan to party
  • Emma thinks Laurel is trying to kill her
  • Birthday party
  • Ethan brings chocolates, Garrett brings uh, romance?
1. When Emma said she wanted to go to USC, her friends just laughed.  Do you think Sutton has good enough grades that Emma will be able to pursue that dream?
2. Why didn't Emma let Alex send her stuff from her locker?  
3. Is Laurel really trying to kill Emma?
4. Someone mentioned that Ethan had a crush on Sutton.  Do you think that was true?  Or do you think it's recently come true?
5. If Sutton is a ghost, why can't she remember things?  
6. What do you make of the Becky dream?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Shirt.Woot.Com - I ♥ Books [Products] [Deals]

Today is the first day of the I ♥ books derby where the bookish shirts will be available for purchase.  Today's is a super cute Dr. Seuss theme that I happen to adore.  I can't wait to see the rest of the shirts in this derby!  Thought you guys might want a heads up.  You can get them in Mens, Womens, and Kids sizes.

The first day that these are on shirt.woot, you get them for ten bucks and free shipping.  After that, they're $15, so get it today if you like it.  (i don't get anything for referring you or anything, just thought you guys might wanna know!)

Four Reasons I Don't Think Bookstores Should Charge For Author Events [You're The Expert]

I just read this article in The New York Times talking about how bookstores are charging to get into author events.  Some are requiring a book purchase and some are just straight up charging five bucks so that you can get in to see the author.

See, these bookstores are tired of being used as an "Amazon show room."  They're sick and tired of people coming to the store, listening to the presentation, then buying the book from their phone while they're in the audience.

I agree.  That's lame.  Support the store if you're going to show up at the event.

Changing Hands, my local Indie, does tickets for the larger events.  Tickets give the people who purchase a book an edge over those who don't.  They get primo seats, and the privilege of going through the signing line first.  And those who buy first, get a higher lettered ticket.  But the events remain open to the public.  And I think that's a smart way to do it.  Don't exclude anyone, but give preference to your customers.  That makes sense to me.  But charging a flat fee or a book purchase for entrance doesn't.

I guess I'd be mad about people using me as a test drive too, but there are several reasons why I don't think bookstores should charge for author events:

1) Author events are not concerts.  You get a preview, not the whole shebang. I might hear the author and decide I really don't want to buy their book.  It's happened before.  I've showed up to author events, not liked what I've heard, and not purchased the book.
2) I might have already purchased the book elsewhere.  Living in Arizona, we don't see a ton of book launches.  So, if there are titles that I've purchased online from Borders or Amazon, and the author comes six months later, or a year later, and I want to see the author, I'd be S.O.L.  It's horribly inconvenient for me to go to Changing Hands every time I want to buy a book, so I only generally buy something when I'm going for an author event, or a sale, or I'm in the neighborhood.
3) I usually buy something when I go in, even if it's not the author's book who is reading.  A lot of the time I purchase other books or novelties when I go into the store.  Sometimes, I even order books they don't have in stock that the author has recommended or written.  And other times, I'll buy a second copy of a book that I already bought online so that I can a) support the Indie, and b) have a fabulous giveaway.
4) Not everyone can afford to pay to see an author event.  I realize that these cost the bookstore money.  I do.  And I realize that they bring authors in so that people will buy the books.  But, authors do it to promote themselves.  And if you deny the promotion, or start charging for the marketing, you create a yucky, icky precedent.  If they have to pay for the event, a lot of the time, they won't be able to afford the book.  Not to mention we'd lose a little more of our culture that I personally think we can't afford to lose.

Now, those are my reasons that I think that author events should remain free, not free with purchase.  Is it tacky to go to an event and not buy something?  No.  It's a fact of life.  It happens.  But, those of us who value our Indies realize that's how they stay afloat, and we support them any way we can.  But, I want to know what you guys think.  You're the expert on that brain of yours and its opinions, afterall.

For those of you not familiar with You're The Expert here at I Heart Monster, it's a type of post where we share some information with you, then ask you what you think about that information.  We encourage you to leave your opinion or answers in the comments section, and even write your own post as an answer if you are so inclined.  See, we're all different, and we all have different experiences, and that's part of what makes the blogosphere such a fun place - we're all experts about what we think and how we feel and our particular view on the world.  This is just a forum for you to share those with the rest of us.  If you do write a post, we'd love it if you share the link with us.

The Lying Game Read Along #5 [Read Along Discussion]


  • Lights go out.  Everyone assumes Emma pulled a prank.
  • Emma gets attacked and warned again not to divulge who she is.
  • She goes home, goes on date with Garrett.
  • Charlotte shows up at their date, claiming she's hiking.
  • School happens. Emma runs into Ethan, Sylvia Plath exchange.
  • Emma make spa date with Madeline to avoid Charlotte.
  • Madeline leaves, but forgets iPhone
  • Emma snoops on iPhone, sees pic of Laurel with Sutton's locket.
1. Is the strangler one of Sutton's friends?  If not, how did he/she get into the Chamberlain house?
2. What's the Game on, bitches! prank going to be?
3. What did you learn about Garrett and Sutton's relationship and did it surprise you at all?
4. What do you think Garrett and Sutton's plans are?  The ones that Garrett is going to make happen for Sutton's birthday?
5. Are we supposed to suspect Charlotte as the kidnapper with all of the red hair references?  Is Charlotte in any way connected to Thayer?
6.  Why did Madeline take off suddenly from the spa?
7.  Do you suspect Laurel?

Tomorrow's Reading: Chapters 23-27 Pages 227-264

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It Gets Better [Gone Viral]

Saw this posted on Lisa McMann's Facebook.  And I wholeheartedly agree.  It.  Gets.  Better.

The Lying Game Read Along #4 [Read Along Discussion]


  • Tennis is cancelled, so Emma ditches Garrett to go shopping with Mads.
  • They go vintage instead of $200 skinny jeans.
  • Pull prank on Nisha.
  • Goes to bus station, but doesn't leave for Vegas.
  • Goes to sleepover, drinking game - Never Have I Ever - where she learns more about Sutton.
  • Sutton remembers more of what happened to her when she disappeared.


  1. What are your thoughts regarding the Nisha prank?
  2. Is Sutton's disappearance a Lying Game prank?
  3. Will Emma be able to access Sutton's "The L Game" files?  If so, what will she find inside?
  4. What stopped Emma from going to Las Vegas?
  5. How much more do you think Sutton will remember about her ordeal?
  6. And again, is Sutton dead?  (my thoughts keep changing, so I keep asking)
Tomorrow's Reading: Chapters 19-22 Pages 185-226

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Book Depository's Summer Festival: Kids Week [Deals] [Online Events]

Okay, so chances are some of you have kids or younger siblings, and this is a pretty cool event I didn't want you guys to miss out on.

Book Depository (or as a lot of us refer to it, Book Depo) is an online bookstore that ships internationally for free and is located in the UK.  Each week of summer, they're highlighting a different area of publishing with a festival and this week just happens to be Kids.

There are free downloads and extras revealed each day, a giveaway for all 96 books featured in their festival, and great prices on those books.  Some of them are YA, like The Hunger Games and some of Cassie Clare's stories, but a lot of them are geared toward a younger crowd.  Regardless, it's worth a look, and I didn't want you to miss out!!

The Lying Game Read Along #3 [Read Along Discussion]


  • We have a memory of Sutton at the pool with her friends, and Laurel, and Laurel's necklace and the mesquite thicket and someone holding a knife to Sutton's back.
  • Then we have Sutton going to the police.
  • The police have a Sutton Mercer folder for all the times she's cried wolf and they don't believe that she's Emma.
  • They drive her to school in the back of a police car.
  • All of her teachers at school think she's a devil child.
  • She gets the smallest uniform from Nisha, her tennis co-captain.
  • She goes home for dinner, to interesting conversation and Mrs. Mercer asking how Emma is.
  • She goes to practice tennis and finds Ethan on the court stargazing.
  1. What do you think about all of the things that were in Sutton's police file?
  2. What do you think about Laurel and Emma's relationship?  How do you see it going?
  3. What about Thayer?  Do you think he met the same fate as Sutton?
  4. What about Ethan?  What do you think their history is now after the tennis court interaction?  Their future?
  5. Should Emma tell Alex what's going on?
  6. Has your opinion on whether or not Sutton is dead changed?
Tomorrow's Reading:  Chapters 14-18; Pages 136-184

Again, ask anything you want!  Let's keep the good discussion going!

Monday, June 20, 2011

3-ish days until J.K. Rowling's Announcement [News] [You're The Expert]

Rumors have it that Pottermore (follow it on Twitter @pottermore) will be an online game.  After googling and researching for a bit,  I found the twitter account, with exactly 2 tweets.

And, if you find all of the coordinates, you can use the Twitter account to find the last.  And apparently, or you know as the blog-rumor-mill runs, if you put in all ten coordinates you get the letters P-O-T-T-E-R-M-O-R-E.  But on that site, if you click the ?, you find that it's definitely not going to be a book.  "This is not a new book, but it is something equally exciting."

There is a blog post at Akshul that boasts screenshots from a Harry Potter MMORPG (that's mass-multi-player-online role-playing-game for those of you who aren't nerdy enough) that can't confirm that the screenshots are from this project, but I guess the blogger found them on Facebook.

So, here's what I want to know.  What do you think it will be?  You're the expert on you and your thoughts afterall.  Share!

Update (6.20.11 11:30AM):  Shelf Awareness this morning said this:
Book Bench reported the language of a trademark registered by Warner Bros. two years ago "doesn’t necessarily dispel the possibility of such a game." The application "outlines Pottermore as a service 'providing multiple-user access to a global computer information network, [...] on-line chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among users in the field of general interest [and] on-line facilities for real-time interaction with other computer users concerning topics of general interest.' " 
And they linked to The Week who is featuring 7 theories on what Pottermore could be. Theories include an encyclopedia, a spin-off site for secondary characters, video game, social network, e-books, theme park, or and we can only hope, a real wizarding school.
For those of you not familiar with You're The Expert here at I Heart Monster, it's a type of post where we share some information with you, then ask you what you think about that information.  We encourage you to leave your opinion or answers in the comments section, and even write your own post as an answer if you are so inclined.  See, we're all different, and we all have different experiences, and that's part of what makes the blogosphere such a fun place - we're all experts about what we think and how we feel and our particular view on the world.  This is just a forum for you to share those with the rest of us.  If you do write a post, we'd love it if you share the link with us.

And here it is!

The Lying Game Read Along #2 [Read Along Discussion]

Okay, recap day 2, chapters 5-8:

  • It was Sutton's friends at Sabino Canyon.  But they weren't anticipating her being there.
  • They took her to Nisha's party.
  • She met Garrett there, didn't let him feel her up.  Then she met rebel-without-a-cause Ethan, and talked Orion and stars with him.
  • Then the Twitter Twins came and got her.
  • She pretended to be drunk and Charlotte took her home.
  • She arrived home, found Sutton's room, and found Sutton's phone, in a silver clutch.
  • She went to sleep, was awakened by Sutton's mom.
  • Has interactions with Sutton's family, comes clean that she's not Sutton.
  • They don't believe Emma, and think Sutton is just being Sutton.
  • They go out to Laurel's car to go to school, and Sutton finds a note on the car addressed to her telling her Sutton is dead and she better not tell anyone or she's next. 
  1. Put yourself in Emma's shoes.  Would you pretend to be Sutton?
  2. What do you think about Garrett?  What do you forsee happening with him?
  3. With Ethan?
  4. Where do you think Emma's stuff went?
  5. So, this seems to be first-person limited omniscient point of view.  The narrator, Sutton, tells us what she is thinking and feeling, and tells us what Emma is thinking and feeling.  Do you think it's working so far?  Have you gotten confused at all by who owns which thoughts and feelings?
  6. What do you think about the note? Do you think it came from the guy at Sabino Canyon that was on the trail watching Emma?

Get to chatting, peeps! Again, add any questions you have in the comments section, I can't wait to see what you guys think! AND, tomorrow's reading is Chapters 9-13, Pages 87-135.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Lying Game Read Along #1 [Read Along Discussion]

Let the Read Along Begin!  
Don't know what we're talking about?  Click here to read more.  

Let me bullet the plot for you:
  • Sutton is dead, but she's narrating.  
  • She sees Emma, who looks just like her, and is confused, but still dead.  
  • Then she finds out she was strangled, but lived?  I'm a little foggy on that. Because her foster brother plays a video starring Sutton, not Emma, titled SuttoninAZ.
  • So Emma gets kicked out of her present foster situation.  Given 2 weeks notice.
  • Emma googles Sutton AZ and finds the girl's Facebook page, and finds out that she's for sure a twin.  She looks exactly like Sutton.
  • Emma sends Sutton a FB message.
  • Sutton responds back, even though she's dead, and didn't really respond.
  • Emma hops a Greyhound to meet Sutton at Sabino Canyon in Tucson, because Sutton asked her to come in response to the FB message.
  • Emma goes.  
  • Emma gets clubbed and captured.
Sound about right?  

Okay, here are a few questions to get the discussion going (and feel free to ask questions of your own in the comments section):
  1. Is Sutton dead?
  2. Why did Emma so willingly hop on a Greyhound to meet Sutton the next day?
  3. What does the person who responded to Emma as Sutton know that Emma does not?
  4. Who kidnaps Emma?
  5. What do you do in your brain when you know that details in a story are wrong 'cause you like just hiked there?  *cough* wood sign at Sabino *cough* Proof:

Tell us what you think about these questions, and let us know if you have more for the rest of us!  This'll be fun, guys!

Tomorrow's Reading: Chapters 5-8 Pages 48-86!  See ya tomorrow!! ♥

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Another Bookish Heartsy: inbook [Deals] [Tech]

You guys know I'm a sucker for a bookish deal, and man do I wish I could be one for this!  But inbook makes seriously stylish, seriously awesome iPod and iPhone chargers/docks out of, you guessed it, books!

So you can score one of these babies for $27US today only.  And it's a functional piece of decor, and bookish to boot!  If you haven't joined Heartsy yet, (it's like Groupon for Etsy) join up via this link and it'll give you a five dollar credit (and I'll get one too), which would bring this down to a whopping $22 bucks.  Hurry though, these vouchers don't last long.

If I had an apple device there's an awesome Jane Austen one I'd buy in a heartbeat.  But, alas, I'm believer in freedom and Android and America all that jazz. *wink*

Friday, June 17, 2011

Why I Don't Rant About Other Bloggers And News Professionals

Recently, I received a couple of -dare I say- snarky emails telling me about how my blog is lacking controversy.  My immediate response was, "Thanks."  Then I realized that these readers were complaining that I wasn't going to turn something I enjoy into a debate or forum for reaming others and their opinions.  They were upset they had to go elsewhere for that.

So, I'm here to tell you.  If you want a book blog that blows something some celeb said about the YA book world out of proportion and calls for a boycott of all things that-celebrity-related, I'm not your gal.  I'm also not the gal that's going to shove my opinion down your throat and tell you you're stupid if you don't think the same way as me.  I actually like it when you guys tell me why I'm wrong and broaden my horizons.  I totally know I'm not the end-all-be-all of blogging.  And if I want to voice my opinion about something crazy, I usually stop by and comment with Pam at, because she's great like that, and we sometimes-but-rarely see things the same way.

Here's what you get at I Heart Monster, friends.  You get me, telling you about great books, the occasional not-so-great book, and some pretty awesome bookish things in between.  You'll get recaps of bookish events, and a You're The Expert forum posts where everyone can voice their opinion and view the opinions of others.  You won't get posts designed to provoke you, or attract a swarm of comments.  You get me, the things I like, some news, and some great giveaways, and an open invitation to share your opinion in a non-threatening, and respected manner.  ♥

So there.  That's what we do here at IHM.  Don't like it?  Oh well.  I don't do this for the numbers, I do this because it's fun, and you guys are awesome. Consider this my response to any email you want to send asking why I don't start posting on stuff that everyone else does.  I'm me, not a clone, and I like me this way, and I respect the rights of all other bloggers and news professionals to post their opinions and write their columns the way they want to.  (because I want them to afford me the same courtesy)

And I've added Instant Debate to hopefully make commenting here easier.  I know it was a pain for a lot of you before. ♥

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Match Made In High School Nite [My Real Life] [Book Groups]

Last night our book group all got together (plus a new member!) to discuss Kristin Walker's A Match Made In High School. The food theme this month was Food You Loved In High School. So, that was a welcome blast from the past.
We had (from left to right) Nutrigrain bars, brownies, soft pretzels, fruit snacks, and fruit with a yummmmy toffee dip.

We didn't really adore this month's pick.  Well, that might be putting it lightly.  We weren't fans at all.  We picked it apart pretty thoroughly during our discussion.  We found some good things, but not enough good to overpower the bad language and innuendo.  You'll recall I'm not a huge fan of those things?  Well, my friends aren't either.  So, unfortunately we wouldn't recommend the book, but we had a great time discussing it!  And the fact that none of us really liked it led to a lot of great discussion, which is something we lack when we all love the book (like we did with The Body Finder).

Here are the questions that Kristin sent us for discussion, and some of our responses:

1. One of the themes I tried to emphasize was the idea that people are more than what they seem on the surface, more than their stereotype or the label we've given them. Which characters show this? What about the adult characters?
We thought she did a great job of showing this through her characters.  All of these characters, even the adults showed this.  But the one that we didn't buy the most was Amanda.  Mean girls are mean girls, and it's not usually jealousy that propels them to hurt people.

2. Marriage is such a hot topic these days. Many people seem to draw specific boundaries around which kind of relationships qualify marriage and which don't. I tried to illustrate some of the various forms that relationships and marriage can take. Can you identify them? Do you feel they fit the criteria for marriage? What about the marriages that failed?
 While we were able to identify these, we were disappointed in some of the stereotypes that went along with those relationships.  We did like Fiona's parents' relationship though, and thought it was unique in the YA book world.

3. Drawing forward from the previous question, what about gay marriage? I tried very hard to address the topic with the subplot of Uncle Tommy, as well as with the POMME mothers. In what ways does Uncle Tommy's relationship mirror or differ from other relationships in the book?
 We don't discuss gay marriage or many political issues in our group as it tends to get heated, and we all like to stay friends.  But we all really enjoyed the rainbow protest scene with the parents.  Though we really wondered why there wasn't more parental interaction with the kids and asking them and teaching them what they should know.  We sorta felt that this action reinforced the misconception that people can let schools raise their children for them.

4. SPOILER:  I've caught some flack for deviating from the normal formula for a romance novel by not having Fiona end up with Todd. My intent was to prove that the quiet, overweight loner can get the girl. Did you like that? Or did it make you mad that Fiona and Todd never got together?
We were all so relieved that Fiona and Todd didn't get together.  Especially since Fiona and Todd's relationship so closely mirrored the dynamic that Fiona's parents had.  We were happy that Kristin was able to overcome the stereotype and let the fat dude get the girl.  We think that more kids need to realize that it's not just the outside that counts.

5. Many people have found Fiona to be unlikable at the beginning, but I had to make her that way in order to show her growth and change over the course of the book. In what ways did she change? Where do you think the turning point was?

Some of us loved Fiona from the beginning (me and one other) and the rest of us really couldn't connect with her from the beginning and had a really hard time caring about her throughout the book because of it.  But, we all saw the change over the course of the book and were glad for it.

We're looking forward to next month's pick, and we're totally open to suggestions.  If you guys know of a book that you think would make for a great book group discussion and great yummy food, leave us a comment.  The only requirement we have is that it's YA.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Nine Lives of Chloe King [Tv]

Nine Lives of Chloe King debuts tonight on ABC Family. I purchased a used copy of the book, intending to read and review it before this premiere, but dude. Life happened. So, instead, you get to see a picture of my "like new" book (why do I even bother with used?) and see a preview of the show.

What's the verdict? Are you going to watch tonight? Are you going to read the books? Talk to me. (And don't forget that there's still time to sign-up for our The Lying Game Read-Along to get the book read before the series starts in two weeks! We start Sunday!)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Little, Brown Father's Day Roundup [Giveaway] {2 winners}

Just in time for Father's Day, 2 lucky winners will receive a prize pack of 5 books, courtesy of Hachette Book Group!  Titles include:

By Michael Koryta
Hardcover, ISBN 9780316053662, US$24.99/CA$27.99

By Michael Connelly
Hardcover, ISBN 9780316069359, US$27.99/CA$29.99

By Robert Weintraub
Hardcover, ISBN 9780316086073, US$26.99/CA$29.99

By Keith Richards
Trade Paperback, ISBN 9780316034418, US$16.99/CA$18.99

By David Foster Wallace
Hardcover, ISBN 9780316074230, US$27.99/CA$29.99

All you have to do to enter is enter your info into the form below:

Good Luck!

Jane Austen Manuscript ALMOST Reunited [News]

You guys know about "The Watsons"?  It was a manuscript that Jane Austen started after the earlier versions of Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, and Northanger Abbey.  But, she abandoned it.  The first twelve pages were auctioned during WWI to benefit the Red Cross and the rest of the surviving manuscript (written in 1804) belongs to a private collector in England.

But, for a short time, these two pieces are going to both be in New York.  The first twelve pages belong to Morgan Library & Museum, as part of their permanent collection.  The remaining 68, the ones from the private collection, will be in New York on display at Sotheby's for a week before it's shipped back to London for auction in mid-July. It'll be the closest these pieces have been together in like over a hundred years or something.

So, you die hard Austen fans living in or visiting New York, are you going to go and see these awesome pieces of manuscript?  I hear they're corrected in Jane's handwriting and everything.  How awesome would it be to see Jane's edits?  (I think the answer is so.  So awesome.)  Let us know if you're going to see any part of The Watsons, 'cause we'd love for you to share the awesome.

[via The New York Times]

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Harry & The Potters: Dumbledore's Favorite City (Phoenix) [Music]

So hey gang.  Of the three awesome things to do tonight in Phoenix, I chose to go to Harry & The Potters.  I met my friend, X, there and it we had a grand ol' time.  I also saw author Jake Bell (and you can enter to win one of his books right here on this blog, right now!) while I was there.  So obviously, it was the cool choice, no offense YA authors whose book signings and readings I skipped so that I could rock out with the Potters. So sorry. (sort of)
I'm totally glad I went to Harry and the Potters.  People were dressed up.  People were carrying wands.  People were dancing and hopping and well, check out the longish, crappy quality video at the end if you're super interested!
These guys had great lyrics and great energy (as you can see for yourself if you're inclined to watch the video).  There was a Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans Contest, a Picture Booth, and a merch stand.  And since there was a merch stand, I picked up a signed album for one lucky reader and a Harry & The Potters pin too.  Lucky Ducks.  Just enter your dets in the form below the video.
Oh, and here's me with the Harries Potter.  Such a fun night.  Now get to entering that giveaway, yo!

(And catch them if they're coming to your city: More details at:

June 11 | Tucson, AZ | Hotel Congress (sponored by Bookmans and the Tucson Public Library)
June 12 | San Diego, CA | Che Cafe
June 13 | Santa Ana, CA | Santa Ana Public Library
June 14 | Los Angeles, CA | Los Angeles Public Library – Central Library
June 15 | Mission Viejo, CA | City of Mission Viejo Library
June 16 | Berkeley, CA | the Long Haul (with Spoonboy)
June 17 | San Francisco, CA | San Francisco Public Library – Main Library
June 18 | Sunnyvale, CA | Sunnyvale Public Library
June 18 | Santa Cruz, CA | the Crepe Place
June 20 | Portland, OR | Multnomah Co. Library – North Portland Branch
June 21 | Portland, OR | Backspace (with the Whomping Willows, JFF, Lauren Fairweather)
June 22 | Bellingham, WA | Mt. Baker Theatre (via Bellingham Public Library)
June 23 | Vancouver, BC | Vancouver Public Library – Central Library
June 24 | Seattle, WA | Seattle Public Library – Central Library
June 25 | Olympia, WA | Olympia Public Library
June 27 | Spokane, WA | A Club
June 28 | Missoula, MT | Missoula Public Library (with Hank Green)
June 29 | Salt Lake City, UT | Salt Lake City Public Library – Main Library
June 30 | Denver, CO | Denver Public Library – Central Library
July 1 | Boulder, CO | Boulder Public Library
July 2 | Omaha, NE | Omaha Public Library – W Dale Clark Main Library
July 3 | Kansas City, MO | Kansas City Public Library – Central Library
July 4 | Lawrence, KS | Replay Lounge
July 5 | Des Moines, IA | Des Moines Public Library – Central Library
July 6 | Minneapolis, MN | Triple Rock Social Club (with Best Friends Forever and Dance Band)
July 7 | Chicago, Il | Lincoln Square (with Diagon Alley)
July 8 | Columbs, OH | Worthington Northwest Library
July 9 | Nashville, TN | Nashville Public Library – Main Library
July 10 | Atlanta, GA | Magnetic Theatre
July 11 | Orlando, FL | Orlando Public Library
July 12 | Clearwater, FL | Clearwater Public Library – Main Library
July 12 | Tampa, FL | Transitions Art Gallery
July 15 | Orlando, FL | LeakyCon 2011
July 17 | Gainesville, FL | Alachua Count Library District – Headquarters Library
July 18 | Durham, NC | Casbah (sponsored by the Durham Co. Library)
July 19 | Washington, DC | District of Columbia Public Library – MLK Central Library
July 28 | Chicopee, MA | Chicopee Public Library
July 29 | Cambridge, MA | Harvard Square (with Draco and the Malfoys and MC Kreacher)
July 30 | Philadelphia, PA | Rock and Read Fest @ Bookspace (with MC Kreacher and Uncle Monsterface)
July 31 | Brooklyn, NY | the Knitting Factory (with MC Kreacher and Leema Mountain)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Six Gift Ideas For Your Bookish Dad [Gift Guides]

Father's Day is June 19th, and rapidly approaching if you want to order something for good ol' pops.  If your dad is anything like my dad, and super hard to buy for, check out these things I've found that you can order as gifts for your bookish dad:

The Artsy-Yet-Bookish Dad has a collection of classics.  He appreciates Rockwell, Van Gogh, Pollock, and Ansel Adams.  He doesn't really understand why people pay money to see the Suns vs. Lakers when Aida is playing across the street.  He likes the outdoors, but in a contemplative and peaceful way; he does not care for camping or hiking or getting dirty.  The lectures he gives you are often rife with lessons you should have learned from historical figures and their mistakes.  So, this Spanish Galleon print on antique dictionary paper seems perfect for him to display in his study, right?  RococoCo,, $12
The Writerly Dad has volumes and volumes of journals.  He's documented everything from your birth to your first tooth, to that time you got stood up for prom.  He has an extensive collection of books, but his taste is so unpredictable you can't even begin to guess what he may like.  He's instilled in you the qualities of loyalty, sincerity, and candor, which is why he'll adore this hand-bound, Dad-on-spine, leather journal.  Wee Bindery,, $32
The Saturday-Morning-Cartoon Dad is undoubtedly watching Cartoon Network right now in an effort to escape the realities of his every day job.  He reads comics and graphic novels and the occasional picture book with your little brother.  He approaches your problems in life first with practical advice and then with a humorous alternative.  Like the time when you asked him for advice about how to ask out that guy/girl and he told you to walk up to him and ask.  Then he followed it up with an idea about a hot air balloon and a skywriter and putting those plastic cups in the fence above the overpass.  He's active and involved in your life, and he always gives you money when you ask for it (which is almost never), so you should totally get him this Repurposed Comic Book Wallet, so he can stash his business cards in something fun.  DumbKidDesigns,, $6
The Dystopian-Loving-Zombie-Paranoid Dad only reads when the synopsis of the book talks about some undead creature - be it zombies, vamps, or banshees - is going to take over the world and threaten the existence of the human race.  He has a fourteen-year supply of food in the garage, and has enough 2x4s out there so that you can zombie-proof your windows if needs be.  It's possible that his addiction to Nazi Zombies is just a phase, but you doubt it.  He's involved in your life, but the extent of your conversation really ends at how to survive the Zombie Apocalypse.  So, when he opens up his Zombie Defense Syrum Coffee Thermos, he's going to hug you and ask you if you got the recipe to go along with it.  kitschville,, $19.95
The Academic Dad has every book known to man.  Half of your wall space in your bedroom is filled with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves full of tomes with names like, "Anatomy of South American Botanica" and "History of the Industrial Revolution in Fairfax, Virginia."  The great part about the shelves is that just reading the titles for a few minutes puts you straight to sleep, so you don't even have to count sheep.  Dad's already got your education saved for, and if he has anything to say about it, you'll have four post-doc degrees before you enter the workforce.  Give him something he's sure to not have, this picture of a skeleton and a rhino.  The randomness is sure to send him into a tizzy, and off of your academic back for at least a week until he finds out where the craziness originated.  curiousprints,, $12
The All-Kinds-Of-Awesomely-Rad Hands-On Dad is always there when you need him.  He's interested in you and in your life and doing whatever he can to help you succeed.  He's given a significant amount of personal sacrifice just so that he could give you the best shot at life he could.  He's the dad who when he found out you were coming sat down and wrote out bedtime stories, read all of the what-to-expect books, and boned up on his fairy tales so that he coudl do the best job at his new gig that he could.  And he has.  He's a staple in your life.  He's always there for you and communicates with you whenever he can.  He reads your blog, and is probably the only one who does.  You can tell him anything, and he'll help you find a solution.  Which is why you should give him two copies of the next book you want to read and read it together and have your own little book club discussions along the way.  Start with something a dad would read, like Kimberly Derting's The Body Finder or Jon S. Lewis's Invasion.  And dad will adore you for it.  

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Local Bookish Events in June - Arizona [Local]

June 8th: Michael Scott | Changing Hands | Tempe | 7pm: Award-winning author Michael Scott visits with Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: The Warlock, the fifth installment of his New York Times bestselling fantasy series for teens and middle readers. The twins of prophesy have been divided, and the end is finally beginning. Sophie has been separated from her allies, and finds herself on her own with the ever-weakening Flamels. Will she be able to find an immortal to teach her Earth Magic in time?

June 10th:  Dark Days of the Supernatural Tour | Changing Hands |Tempe | 7pm:  Start your summer off right with four authors and their hot new supernatural and sci-fi novels for teens. Debut authors Veronica Roth (Divergent), and Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed) offer dystopian thrills and Greek mythology. Joining them is Aprilynne Pike with Illusions, the third installment of her New York Times bestselling Wings series, and Ellen Schreiber, who presents Cryptic Cravings, the eighth book in her Vampire Kisses series.

PLEASE NOTE: Amy Plum (Die for Me), and Tara Hudson (Hereafter) have recently cancelled and will not be appearing at Changing Hands tonight.

June 10th: Bizarre Book Bonanza | Evermore Nevermore | Mesa | 6pm-10pm: Evermore Nevermore, will be holding its “Bizarre Book Bonanza” on June 10th, from 6 – 10 PM as part of downtown Mesa’s 2nd Friday festival. This meet & greet author/book event will showcase some of America’s bestselling authors, intermingled with up-and-coming local writers.

Each participating author will read from their latest work, answer questions, pose for photos and sign their respective books. Featured authors will include New York Times Bestselling Author Lisa McMann (the Wake Trilogy and Cryer’s Cross) and Tom Leveen, bestselling author of Party, and several other imaginative local authors including Katie Mullaly & J. Patrick Ohlde, Darryl Dawson, and Caris O'Malley.

June 10th: Harry & The Potters | Phoenix Public Library: Burton Barr Central | Phoenix | 6pm: Imagine if Harry Potter quit the quidditch team and started a punk rock band. Take that one step further and imagine that he stole a time-turner and decided to start that band with himself from a different point in time. Imagine that band could exist without compromising themselves. Imagine that they are able to operate completely independently, without managers, booking agents, recording budgets, publicists, record labels, or anything aside from a sense of enthusiasm and a desire to have fun.

June 11th: Harry & The Potters | Hotel Congress | Tucson | 6pm: Whoa! Excellent free show happening at Club Congress! This is sponsored by the rad folks at the Tucson Public Library and Bookmans and it’s all part of Second Saturdays. This will be the best night of summer in Tucson!!!

June 11th: Lightning Octocon | Gangplank | Chandler | 7pm: Lightning Octocon will be an intimate celebration of the local geek community here in Arizona as well as one full year of Lightning Octopus.  Sweet tunes, snacks, gaming, networking, speed-painting, local creations, mingling, prizes, a “photobooth,” cake, atmosphere, Street Fighter II, conversation, professional photographs, nerds, fun, and anything else we come up with between now and June.  May not be expressly bookish, but let's support another local blogger, mmkay?

June 13th: Adults Writing For Young Adults: Writing Workshop with James A. Owen | Changing Hands | Tempe | 6:30-8:30pm: Want to write for kids, tweens, or teens? Here’s your chance to learn from one of the best! James A. Owen, author of the bestselling Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series, shows you how to capture your young audience and keep them turning the pages until the very end. Cost: $25. Registration and pre-payment at 480.730.0205.

June 25th: Dire Consequences & Grave Peril: Writing Workshop with Lisa McMann & Tom Leveen | Changing Hands | Tempe | 3pm-5pm: New writers can often be hesitant to put their characters in peril, tending to hold them close, for fear of not being able to write their way out of danger (mostly) unscathed. Young adult authors Tom Leveen (Party) and Lisa McMann (Cryer’s Cross, the Wake series), host a workshop on how adult writers and teen writers over 15 can make danger their best friend—crafting scenes that keep readers on the edge of their seats and turning the pages! Cost: $25. Registration and pre-payment at 480.730.0205.

June 29th: Colleen Houck | Barnes & Noble Desert Ridge | Phoenix | 7pm: Colleen Houck signs the next installment of her Tiger's Curse series, Tiger's Quest.