Sunday, May 10, 2015

Free Audiobooks, People!

It's that time of the year again, when the good people at Sync offer a weekly selection of YA audiobooks paired with classic titles.

If you don't have OverDrive Media Console, you'll need to install if, but Sync offers a handy link to that on its website.

Check out this year's offerings:

May 7-14:  
  • Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  • Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

May 14-21:  
  • Dodger by Terry Pratchett
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

May 21-28:  
  • X: A Novel by Ilyasha Shabazz & Kekla Magoon
  • Here in Harlem by Walter Dean Myers

May 28-June 4:  
  • The Ring and the Crown by Melissa De La Cruz
  • Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan

June 4-11:  
  • A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker

June 11-18:  
  • The Living by Matt de la Pena
  • The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger

June 18-25:  
  • Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
  • Anne Frank Remembered by Miep Gies & Alison Leslie Gold

June 25-July 2:  
  • Monster by Walter Dean Myers
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding

July 2-9:  
  • Echoes of an Angel by Aquanetta Gordon & Chris Macias
  • Buddha Boy by Kathe Koja

July 9-16:  
  • The Explorers Club by Nell Benjamin
  • Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

July 16-23:  
  • Crows & Cards by Joseph Helgerson
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain 

July 23-30:  
  • March by Geraldine Brooks 
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

July 30-August 6:
  • Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles by Tanya Lee Stone
  • John Ball's In the Heat of the Night by Matt Pelfrey

August 6-13:  
  • Under the War-Torn Sky by L.M. Elliott
  • The Old Brown Suitcase by Lillian Boraks-Nemetz

Happy listening!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Thousand Pieces of You Book Review

Title: A Thousand Pieces of You
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
ISBN-13: 978-0062278968

368 pp.

ARC provided by publisher

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray is the first in her new Firebird series, a rollicking, action-packed novel about love and revenge across parallel universes.

Marguerite Caine is an artist in a family of scientists. And not just any scientists. Her parents are cutting edge physicists working on a project, Firebird, that will bridge the gap between parallel universes. But when Marguerite's father is killed in a highly suspicious accident, Marguerite uses Firebird to go after his presumed murderer.

The novel is a fun read as we see Marguerite navigate the different worlds she travels through, sometimes subtly different, sometimes tragically different. The science behind the project is purely fictional, but Marguerite's journey is what keeps the reader engaged.

Helping her on her journey is Theo, a student of her parents. Of course, Theo is the required cute boy. Except Marguerite had always been intrigued by Paul, her parents' research assistant. But Paul's the one she's chasing through the multiverse. She keeps meeting different iterations of him, and may just have fallen in love with one of them.

Lots of twisty, juicy story in this first installment. I'd recommend this to readers who enjoyed Cinder by Marissa Meyer or Dangerous by Shannon Hale.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sold Audiobook Review

Title: Sold
Author: Patricia McCormick
Narrated by: Justine Eyre
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Publication Date: November 26, 2012

Listening copy via Sync

Sold by Patricia McCormick was a National Book Award finalist, a lyrical, heartbreaking story about Lakshmi, a thirteen-year-old girl who is sold by her stepfather into the sex trade.

Justine Eyre does a phenomenal job narrating Lakshmi's story, starting with her love for her mother and the struggling farm they live on in the foothills of the Himalayas, through Lakshmi's journey to what she thinks is a job as a maid to the city, and the suffering that Lakshmi endures in a Calcutta brothel, trying to hold onto her humanity and even hope.

The subject matter is difficult to listen to and Justine Eyre's expresses quiet desperation, loneliness, and grief without histrionics. If you're listening to this on a road trip, as I did, be prepared for an emotional gutting.

Sunday, April 12, 2015



Books for sale
Whew! The first ever YALLWEST books festival is over! Two days of YA madness with over 80 authors, a couple thousand attendees, and tons of books!

I volunteered to help out on both days, so I didn't go to any of the panels. But that didn't mean I didn't get to meet people and have fun!

Scrabble time
I was assigned to the gaming area, playing Scrabble with authors and attendees. Hasbro was one of the sponsors and donated a variety of games to give away as prizes. I want to give a shout-out to Hasbro for their generosity.

Several hundred inner city kids were bussed in for the event and they had never played Scrabble before. Many of them didn't own any board games. So it was especially rewarding for me to introduce them to one of my favorite games and then hand them one to keep.

Thanks to all the authors, sponsors, volunteers, and lovers of YA books who made it such an awesome event! Hope to see you next year!

Epic Reads

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone!

(or Passover) (or lazy Sunday)

Enjoy the day and enjoy this video:


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