May 31, 2011

Review - Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy by Sonya Sones

After Cookie's older sister has a mental breakdown and ends up being hospitalized, Cookie struggles with accepting the situation. She worries not only about her sister but also about how her friends and classmates will react when they hear about her sister. Cookie fears that she will also develop mental illness. As the family adjust to their new reality, Cookie visits her sister often and tries to reestablish the connection they once had. 

This short novel-in-verse packs a powerful punch as it portrays the family's roller coaster of emotions through the eyes of a young girl. Mental illness and its effect on the family is an important topic that is not often explored in teen literature. This story is actually based on the author's own experiences. It really gives you insight into what it must be like to have a family member with mental illness. Stop Pretending is a heartfelt and inspiring read. 

May 29, 2011

Review - What They Don't Teach You in Library School by Elisabeth Doucett

As a recent library school graduate, I was drawn to this book by the title. My school provided its students with a nice balance between theory and practice, and I felt well-prepared as I began my first professional position. However, there is always more to learn, so I decided to read this book and see if I could gain any pearls of wisdom. 

The book is organized into 3 parts: Helpful to Know Before You Get Your First Job as a Librarian, Helpful to Know When You are New on the Job, and Helpful to Know as you Gain Some Experience. Part 2 was the most relevant to my situation, but I found helpful information throughout the entire book. Each part contains several chapters on specific subject. The chapters are short, but they are full of practical advice and lists of other resources available for further study. I recommend What They Don't Teach You in Library School to current library students, especially those approaching graduation.

May 25, 2011

Review - I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder

Fifteen-year-old Ava is grieving the loss of her boyfriend, Jackson, after a tragic accident. Ava feels guilty for the role she played in the events leading up to his death. Jackson was Ava's first love, and she struggles to accept that he is gone. When she is alone, she feels his comforting presence surrounding her. Soon Jackson's spirit begins communicating with her. She can hear him, smell him, and even see him at times. How can she learn to let go of Jackson when he doesn't seem ready to let go of her? And how can she ever forgive herself for the actions that led to Jackson's death? 

This novel-in-verse is a quick but emotionally satisfying read.The poems convey a lot of intense emotion in few words. Beautiful writing and well-developed characters make I Heart You, You Haunt Me a must read. 

May 22, 2011

Library Love (12)

I noticed that when I talk about libraries with friends and family members, they often say, "I didn't know libraries offered that!" Library Love is a feature in which I share many different reasons for people to use and love their local library. Some things I mention may be obvious to those of you who routinely use your public library, but others may be new to you. Either way I hope that this feature inspires you to visit and support your local library! 

12. Enjoy free wireless internet access. 

Don't have internet access at home? Need a quiet place to get some work done on your laptop? 

Many public libraries are now offering wireless internet access during their open hours for their patrons and visitors. Some libraries require a password to connect to their wireless network while others do not. Some libraries have certain "wi-fi hot spot" areas while others provide wireless access throughout the entire building.

Bring your own laptop or device and get your work done without having to make a computer station reservation or having to worry about your session running out before you can finish and save your work. Many libraries are even adding extra electrical outlets throughout the building for laptop users who may need to charge their computers. 

Does your local library offer wireless internet access? 

In My Mailbox (48)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a time for everyone to share what books they acquired over the course of the week. I'll share what I received in the mail, bought at bookstores, downloaded to my Nook, or picked up from the library.

In the mail: 
 - The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill (ARC from VOYA for provisional review)

From the library: 
- Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson (audiobook)
- Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson (audiobook)
- Matched by Ally Condie (audiobook)
- Ready or Not by Meg Cabot (audiobook)

From the bookstore:
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi
(I went in to Borders to buy a CD with a 50% off coupon and came out with the CD plus two books. Oops!)

eBooks purchased:
- The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
- What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
- Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent

eBooks for review: 
- The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder (GalleyGrab)
- The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder (NetGalley)

What's in your mailbox this week? 

May 19, 2011

Summer Reading is here!

This week the Summer Reading program at my library officially began. Our theme is "The Great Outdoors." It is free and open to patrons of all ages, not just children. We have some amazing raffle prizes this year - a grill, a tent, a kayak, tickets to an Indians game, a Nook, $100 gift card to Barnes & Noble, and much more! And all our patrons have to do to get raffle tickets is track the amount of hours they spend reading! How awesome is that? I'm really looking forward to the teen programs we have planned too--the annual Girl Talk lock-in, a frisbee golf tournament, the Amazing Race, and soda pop rocketry. Along with Harry Potter Day and outdoor movie nights, it's shaping up to be a really fun summer. It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it. ;)

As I mentioned, we just track the amount of hours read - not pages or # of books. Books can be in any format - eBook, audiobook, print, graphic novel, whatever! Staff members are encouraged to sign-up and track their reading hours too even though they're not eligible for the raffle prizes. We can set goals for our reading hours too. I set my goal at 300 hours. I doubt I'll reach it, but I like to set my goals high!

I have a lot more free time for reading now that grad school is over. Plus my husband is the Marine Corps School of Infantry in California until mid-July, so reading will be a good way to entertain myself while he's gone and make the time go by faster!

Besides my lofty goal of 300 reading hours, here are some other reading-related goals I have for the summer:

  • catch up on blog challenges - I'm doing well in some but slacking in others...
  • catch up on review books - I fell behind during school and need to get through the pile! 
  • read books I own in addition to library books - I tend to neglect the books I own because they don't have due dates. hehe
Does your library have a summer reading program? Do you have any reading goals for the summer?

May 18, 2011

Audiobook Mini-Reviews

Life has been pretty busy lately, so I've relied on audiobooks to squeeze in some extra reading time in my car! Here are some recent audiobooks I've enjoyed:

Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going (AV YA Books on CD, GOI)

Troy, a depressed and suicidal seventeen-year-old who weighs nearly 300 pounds, is about to kill himself when a homeless teenager named Curt interferes. Curt and Troy form an unlikely friendship, and soon Curt invites Troy to join his band as its drummer. The only problem is that Troy exaggerated his drum-playing skills a little bit - he hasn't actually played drums since seventh grade. As Troy relearns the drums and figures out what it takes to be a punk rock star, he learns a lot about himself and what he wants out of life. At times heartbreaking, and at other times laugh-out-loud funny, this audiobook is definitely worth a listen. Actor Matthew Lillard narrates the story.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (AV YA Books on CD, ROS)

Daisy, a sarcastic teen from New York, is sent by her father and stepmother to live with her cousins in England. Daisy's relatives welcome her and make her feel right at home. She becomes especially close with her cousin Edmond, and their relationship turns romantic. This part of the story weirded me out a bit - I can't lie! But if you can handle that, the rest of the story is quite interesting. A war with an unnamed terrorist enemy breaks out and England is invaded. Daisy's family is torn apart, and she journeys across the devastated country in an effort to reunite her family and seek safety. This is an intriguing story about war, love, and survival.

All-American Girl by Meg Cabot (AV YA Books on CD, CAB)

Samantha Madison, a.k.a. Sam, is just a typical sophomore girl living in Washington, D.C., who is in love with her older sister's boyfriend. Then one day while skipping her drawing lessons, Sam stops an assassination attempt on the President of the United States. She just happened to be in the right place in the right time, and she doesn't feel particularly brave--she was just doing the right thing. But everyone else hails her as a hero for saving the leader of the free world. Soon she is eating dinner at the White House, being named teen ambassador to the U.N., and dodging reporters outside her house. She even catches the eye of the President's son, David. This book has plenty of angst, humor, and romance, and I recommended it to fans of The Princess Diaries.

May 16, 2011


It's official! After 2 years of hard work, I finally have my MLS degree. :)

With my mom at the library school reception after graduation
Fellow MLS graduates
Table centerpieces at the library school reception, each with a different quote - ours had a quote from Neil Gaiman: "Google can bring back a hundred thousand answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one." 

May 14, 2011

In My Mailbox (47)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a time for everyone to share what books they acquired over the course of the week. I'll share what I received in the mail, bought at bookstores, downloaded to my Nook, or picked up from the library.

My iPad takes terrible pictures!
From the library: 
 - I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder
 - The Geography of Girlhood by Kirsten Smith
 - Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy by Sonya Sones
 - One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones
 - What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
   Can you tell I was in the mood for a novel in verse?

From the bookstore:
 - Nation by Terry Pratchett
 - Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
 - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
   I got all three of these books for $6! I love Half Price Books. I got signed up for my librarian discount    card too!

I also received some book-related gifts for graduation. I love my new Nook cover! And I received a few Barnes and Noble gift cards, so I'll be going on a book-buying spree soon. The Harry Potter Lego set was from my co-workers, and I have it in my office now. So fun!

What's in your mailbox this week? 


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