Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Joy of NetGalley

I've been a member of NetGalley for a few years now, and it still surprises me that more people don't know about it.

NetGalley is a website where librarians, teachers, bloggers, book reviewers -- basically anyone who reads and shares those books with other readers -- can get free downloadable advanced reader copies.

This is a valuable tool, especially for librarians, for several reasons. First, it's a great help as a selection tool, so you know what's coming out and how good of a read it is. Second, print ARC's can be a pain in the ass. Yes, it's awesome to get them in the mail directly from the publisher. But you can't put them in the collection afterwards and you can't have the Friends of the Library sell them. I give them away to the kids in the Teen Zone, which is cool, but sometimes the ARC can differ significantly from the final work, and that kid may never pick up the final copy.

So NetGalley fits a much needed niche. By having the ebook available for a limited time (usually 60 days), I can read an advanced reading copy and then have it go *poof* from my ereader after that. I think it's a lot more earth-friendly than printing a bunch of ARC's.

If you're a librarian, it's super-easy to sign up and get approved. Just make sure to include that you're a librarian in your bio, and if you're a ALA member, include your membership number and you're pretty much automatically approved.

If you're a blogger, it may be a little harder to get approved, but it's certainly worth it to try. If you're not a blogger, but have thinking about starting a blog to review books, maybe this will motivate you to start one!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Don't Expect Magic Book Review

Title: Don't Expect Magic
Author: Kathy McCullough
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 8, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0385740128

256 pp.

Reading copy via author

Kathy McCullough, author of Don't Expect Magic, donated the paperback copy of this book to the public library where I work. My supervisor gave it to me to read to evaluate whether or not we should include it in our YA collection, since we already have the hardcover edition our JTeen collection. The difference between our YA and JTeen collections is, generally speaking, the difference between high school and middle school. Although there is some overlap, anything with "racier" content is in YA. John Green is in YA. Ellen Hopkins is in YA. You get the picture.

Don't Expect Magic is a "clean" read, no bad words, no sex. But I think it has YA appeal, so I'm going to recommend that it be included in the YA collection. Delany Collins is the protagonist of Don't Expect Magic, a high school student who's suddenly transported from New Jersey to too-sunny, too-perfect southern California after her mother dies. Her dad is Dr. Hank, a self-help guru who she's never really spent much time with, and neither one has any idea how to act around the other.

Then Delaney finds out that Dr. Hank is more than just a self-help guru. He is wand-carrying, wish-granting fairy godfather. And Delaney. Can't. Even.

Dr. Hank is convinced that Delaney couldn't possibly have inherited the f.g. gene, but Delaney does. Now all she has to do is grant her first big wish and earn her wand.

Delaney's a fun character, with lots of attitude and snarky humor. There's even a budding romance. Don't Expect Magic a quick read and I would recommend it to readers who enjoyed Cinder by Marissa Meyer or Anya's Ghost by Vera Bosgol.

Don't Expect Magic Book Trailer:

[DISCLAIMER: Kathy McCullough is a friend of a friend of mine. I've never met her, but I hope to someday because she seems pretty cool.]


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