The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

starNatasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?*

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On Recognizing Authority

Critical thinking skills are more important now than they ever have been before. While it is truly wonderful that platforms such as blogs and social media sites are coming to be seen as credible sources, proving that authority is constructed and contextual, consumers of information need to be aware of the potential for bias and false reporting (intentional or unintentional). According to the Information Literacy frameworks put forth by the American Library Association, experts are able to maintain an “openness to new perspectives, additional voices, and changes in schools of thought” and the novice learner will be able to “ask relevant questions about origins [and] context” (“Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education”, 2015).

With this new openness to sources previously deemed unprofessional or unreliable comes a greater responsibility on the part of information seekers and consumers to do their own research and fact checking. While many may believe that these actions are only necessary when completing academic assignments, or that trusted authorities publishing information online or in print have already performed these actions for them, there are many real world examples that prove this is untrue.  Continue reading

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

heartless1.jpgLong before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.*

Don’t get attached. Don’t get attached. Don’t. Get. Attached. Continue reading

The Great Mariano

jess.jpgIt’s been more than a few days and I still cannot get over the Gilmore Girls revival brought to Netflix on November 25. I began watching this show at the end of August when one of my friends told me that I remind her a lot of Rory. Before the opening credits of the first episode, I was hooked. Not only because I do see a lot of myself in Chilton-age Rory, but because of the fast-paced, intelligent, frequently book-based banter that takes place.

Rory was someone I found myself admiring, even at 22, a significant number of years older than the show’s young protagonist. She was driven, determined to make it to the Ivy League despite the hardships her and her mother faced early on in their journey together. She was also absorbed by classic literature, drawn in by the words of the literary greats, yet well-rounded and social as well. She had everything going for her.  Continue reading

The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards

devil.jpgIt was the job she had dreamed of since childhood. But on her very first day, when an unnerving encounter drags up memories Sophie Greenwood would rather forget, she wonders if she has made a mistake. A fatal mistake.

What is her ambitious young assistant really up to? And what exactly happened to Sophie’s predecessor? When her husband and daughter are pulled into the nightmare, Sophie is forced to confront the darkest secrets she has carried for years.

As her life begins to fall apart at work and at home, Sophie must race to uncover the truth about her new job…before it kills her.*

I had just 60 pages left in this book when I closed up the library I work at last night. 60! It doesn’t seem like a lot, but in a thriller, there is no end to the amount of crazy things that can happen in 60 pages. The entire two-hour drive home (gotta love rush hour on Long Island), I found myself wishing that I had the audiobook so I could end the suspense. I shouldn’t have been so surprised, considering I read half of this book in a day–it’s addicting. Continue reading

Q&A with Jim Hardison, author of FISH WIELDER

Happy almost Friday, everyone!

I’m very excited to share this Q&A with all of you, and even more excited to dive into this new YA fantasy! Keep an eye out for my review of the book early next week. In the meantime, read on to find out more about this accomplished writer and his latest project, FISH WIELDER!

jim-hardison-author-picJim has worked as a writer, screen writer, animator and director in entertainment and commercials since graduating from Columbia College of Chicago in 1988. He is the author of The Helm, which YALSA praised as one of 2010’s best graphic novels for young readers, and has directed animated commercial and entertainment projects, including spots for M&M’s, AT&T, and Kellogg’s. He co-founded Character LLC in 2000 and has given story advice to many of the world’s largest brands, such as Target, Verizon, Samsung, McDonalds and Walmart, and has even appeared on NBC’s “The Apprentice” as an expert adviser on brand characters. Jim lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two kids and two dogs. Fish Wielder is his first novel.

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

peregrine.jpgA mysterious island.


 
An abandoned orphanage.


 
A strange collection of very curious photographs.


 
It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. 

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography,Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.*

I went into this book not really knowing anything about it other than the fact that it has a cool cover and some of my friends enjoyed it, so the elements of historical fiction scattered throughout the novel were unexpected but really artfully employed. The parallel between the hollowgasts/wights and the Nazis was clear, and provided a convenient cover story for Grandpa Portman. Continue reading