New Reads!

I’ve been slacking on my New Reads posts! I’ll try to make it up to you! Here are the New Reads for today!

Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookery by Susan Juby

“Sunglasses. Check.
Binoculars. Check.
Notepad. Check.
Mom’s pink bike. Check. Check?

Meet Sherman Mack. Short. Nerdy. Amateur P.I. and prepared to do anything for Dini Trioli.

Nobody knows who began it or when it became a tradition, but every girl at Harewood Tech fears being D-listed, a ritual that wipes her off the social map forever. When Sherman believes Dini is in danger of being D-listed, he snatches up his surveillance gear and launches a full-scale investigation to uncover who is responsible.

Could it be the captain of the lacrosse team?
The hottest girls in school, the Trophy Wives?
Or maybe their boyfriends?

One thing is for sure: Sherman Mack is on the case. And he’s not giving up.
Part comedy, part mystery, and with all of Juby’s trademark tongue-in-cheek humor, Getting the Girl takes on one of the cruelest aspects of high school: how easy it is for an entire school to turn on someone, and how hard it can be to be the only one willing to fight back.”

Shift by Charlotte Agell

“In fifteen year-old Adrian Havoc’s world, Homestate rules every aspect of society: identity cards need to be carried at all times, evolution is a forbidden topic of discussion, and religious education is enforced in daily “rapture” doses. If life weren’t hard enough, now come the threats that the end of the world–SHIFT–is quickly approaching. But Adrian refuses to accept things as they are. He sets out for the toxic Deadlands on a trip that may very well alter the course of the universe.

In this powerful, thought-provoking and by turns humorous novel, Charlotte Agell uncovers the painful consequences of war and uncertain governments in an imagined—yet disturbingly realistic—world.”

Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix

“Somewhere in the world I have a tiara in a little box. It is not safe for me to wear it…It is not safe for me even to tell anyone who I really am. But I know — I have always known.”

“Cecilia knows that she is not just another peasant girl; she is actually the true princess, in hiding until the evil forces that killed her parents are vanquished. A commoner named Desmia is on the throne as a decoy.

As she gets older, Cecilia finds it harder to study statesmanship and palace protocol secretly at night and then pretend that she has nothing on her mind other than scrubbing the gruel stains out of her best apron by day.
Cecilia knows that it is time to take charge. Along with her best friend, Harper, she flees to the capital city, determined to reclaim her throne and face the danger head on.

When Harper and Cecilia reach the famed Palace of Mirrors, they discover complications: Princess Desmia believes an entirely different version of the story.
Acclaimed author Margaret Peterson Haddix returns to the charmed world of Just Ella, where a princess-in-hiding and a pretender to the throne discover that nothing is as it appears.”

Revealers by Amanda Marrone

“Witchin’ ain’t easy.

Jules has a rebellious streak, a massive crush on Connor, and the abilities of a Revealer witch. By day, she and her coven friends seem like typical high school seniors. By night, they have the power to make werewolves, vampires, and ghosts reveal themselves, so they can destroy them. It’s not exactly cheerleading, but at least the girls know they’re doing the world some good.

One by one, Jules’s friends turn eighteen and are initiated into the coven’s inner circle. And one by one, they are getting completely freaked out. Jules is the youngest, and though her friends are too scared tell her what’s going on, something’s clearly not right. As her birthday approaches, Jules realizes she’s got to find out what’s behind the shadows of her coven before it’s too late to save her friends…and herself. But what she discovers may be too powerful for even the toughest witches to defeat.”

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before by David Yoo

“If Albert Kim has learned one thing in his tragic adolescence, it’s that God (probably a sadistic teenaged alien) does not want him to succeed at Bern High. By the end of sophomore year, Al is so tired of humiliation that he’s chosen to just forget girls and high school society in general, and enjoy the Zen-like detachment that comes from being an intentional loser.

Then he meets Mia Stone, and all the repressed hormones come flooding back. Mia, his co-worker at the Bern Inn, is adorable, popular, and most intimidatingly, the ex- long-term girlfriend of Ivy-bound, muscle-bound king of BHS and world class jerk, Ryan Stackhouse. But — chalk it up to the magic of Al’s inner beauty — by the end of a summer vacuuming hotel rooms and goofing off together, he and Mia are officially “something.”

Albert barely has time to ponder this miracle before the bomb drops: Ryan has been diagnosed with cancer, and he needs Mia’s support, i.e. constant companionship. True, he’s lost weight and he’s getting radiation, but that doesn’t make him any less of a jerk. And to Albert, it couldn’t be more apparent that Ryan is using his cancer to steal Mia back. With the whole town rallying behind Ryan like he’s a fallen hero, and Mia emotionally confused and worried for Ryan, Al’s bid for love is not a popular campaign. In fact, it’s exactly like driving the wrong way on a five-lane highway.

In this desperately funny novel, David Yoo tells an authentic story of first love, and therein captures the agony, the mania, the kicking and screaming that define teenage existence.”


Book Review

Severed Ties

Severed Ties by Kevin Krohn

Release Date: June 9, 2008
Publisher: Spiral Bound Publishing
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 178

At two tears of age Nyne Harper tragically lost her mother in a house fire. She only survived because she was rescued by her father. Fast forward eighteen years and met Nyne Harper college freshman by day, a killer by night. Determined to take down the corporation that killed her mother, Nyne will stop at nothing to get her revenge.

Initially I wasn’t sure what to expect from Severed Ties, I’d never read the author, but I’m always up for a good suspense novel. I’d saw some good reviews around the YA blogging circuit, so I was expecting to like the novel as well.

I was disappointed. I had the entire plot figured out within the second chapter. Ugh, I hate when that happens. Actually no, I don’t hate when that happens, I just hate when it’s too obvious and I’m not really enjoying the story. Because there have been many times where I’ve figured out a plot line in a book and still been able to enjoy the book.

Complaint number one… *Spoilers ahead* Sorry, I try to avoid spoilers, but I just have to in this instance. Okay so the girl is going around killing the heads of this corporation that supposedly killed her mother. Does that bother anyone else, that a 20-year-old “normal” girl is going around killing people and is “okay” mentally? I hate to say it but I think that is would be impossible to kill people and be normal. Yeah I’ve heard people say… oh yeah Jeffery Dahmer seemed like such a normal guy I would have never thought that he was a killer, yada yada yada.. Okay he “acted” normal, but there was obviously some sick a** shit going on in his head, no one can deny that, so I just can’t seem to understand how this girl can go around killing all these people and not be the least bit affected by it. At least she didn’t eat her victims. Call me crazy!

To top that all off, it turns out she is killing her own family! So what, now I’m supposed to feel sorry for her! Not going to happen, sure it sucks but, bad things happen when you go around killing people and not giving it a second thought! I know the fact that she was killing her family is supposed make me feel sorry for her, but I just didn’t. But then again I had no love for her character from the beginning.

The writing itself wasn’t bad, the dialogue seemed a little irregular to me at times, but I just couldn’t get past the aforementioned complaint to find myself enjoying the read. There are other reviewers out there that liked it, I”ll list some links below so you can check those out. I guess this book just wasn’t for me.

Book Review Maniac
Bookluver Carol
Writer’s Block Reviews
All Five Stars
The Book Vault



I Read Banned Books

“Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2008, marks BBW’s 27th anniversary (September 27 through October 4).

BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

BBW is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, National Association of College Stores, and is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.” -American Library Association

I have to admit before I started book blogging, I had no idea that there were banned books! Yes, naive little me, still believed that we had something called the first amendment. You know the one, free exercise of religion, the right to a peaceful assembly and the most important one: the freedom of speech. Of course I should have known better!

Little did I know, I’m a reader of banned books! You might be a reader of banned books too! Here are a few titles that made the list and the reason. Please note that some of these titles were not banned, but challenged.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Reasons: religious viewpoint

TTYL by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Reason: racism

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
Reasons: use of racial slurs and profanity

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Reasons: considered to intense for teens

Looking For Alaska by John Green
Reasons: graphic language and sexual content

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Reason: racism

The Giver by Lois Lowry
Reasons: drug use and euthanasia of elderly and babies.

What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
Reason: sexually explicit

Sandpiper by Ellen Wittlinger
Reason: sexually explicit, offense language

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Reason: promotes Wicca religion

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Reason: content too frightening

Prep: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld
Reason: pornographic

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Reaons; racism and profanity

Gossip Girl by Cecily Von Ziegesar
Reasons: homosexuality, sexual content, drugs, unsuited to age group, and offensive language

The Earth My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: sexual content, anti-family, offensive language, and unsuited to age group

I think that you’ve gotten the idea. Be aware that this is only a fraction of the books that made the lists. You might notice a common theme; racism, sexual content, graphic language and unsuitable for age group. I have to say that I agree with the ALA and their statement:

“Often challenges are motivated by a desire to protect children from “inappropriate” sexual content or “offensive” language. Although this is a commendable motivation, Free Access to Libraries for Minors, an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (ALA’s basic policy concerning access to information) states that, “Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents—and only parents—have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children—and only their children—to library resources.” Censorship by librarians of constitutionally protected speech, whether for protection or for any other reason, violates the First Amendment.”

For more information on Banned Book Week events that are happening near you and what you can do to support Banned Book Week visit bannedbooksweek.org.

Exercise Your First Amendment Rights – Read a Banned Book!


Book Review

Prom Queen Geeks

Prom Queen Geeks by Laura Preble

Release Date: September 2, 2008
Publisher: Berkley Trade, Penguin Group (USA), Berkley Jam
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 272
Other titles in the series: The Queen Geek Social Club and Queen Geeks in Love

The Queen Geek Social Club is in full force. Becca’s ideas never seem to wane and her latest idea may be the biggest of them all.

It is prom times at Green Pines High and the student government is set to sell outrageously priced tickets to the Junior/Senior Prom. The Queen Geeks manifest the idea to have their own prom, Geek Prom! Becca not only wants to invite the students from Green Pines to the Geek Prom, but she wants people from all over the world to be invited, in a world wide cyberific Geek Prom night!

Shelby is torn once again between Fletcher and Becca and the Queen Geeks. She wants to help Becca out with the Geek Prom, but she also wants to attend the “real prom” with Fletcher.

Prom Queen Geeks is once again the same old song and dance, no pun intended. The Geek Prom was a very neat idea, but I think that Becca was doing it for all the wrong reasons. Only justifying my overall dislike for her character. Shelby did redeem herself slightly in this novel, but I wish she had stood up for herself a little bit more and not took “the easy way out.” The series did continue to get better as it went along, but I think that maybe these books just aren’t for me. It might have had something to do with the fact that I read them back to back…. but I am geeked out!



YA Connection

The YA Connection is a collaborative column collected by Kristi (The Story Siren) and Steph (Reviewer X). In it can be found links from around the YA blogosphere, including, but not limited to, contests links, author blog links, review links, and miscellaneous news pertaining to the age group. Also, Kristi and Steph hold weekly contests accompanying the column, as well as a book and author spotlight.

If you’re a blogger, author or publicist looking to have your links added, please email Kristi at thestorysiren (at) hotmail.com or Steph at reviewerx (at) gmail.com. Any book donations for giveaways are also greatly appreciated. Please note that the spotlights are not up to suggestion, but rather decided by both Kristi and Steph.

This week the official YA Connection can be found at Reviewer X and next week it will be back here at The Story Siren.

Don’t forget to head over to Steph’s blog Reviewer X and sign up for this weeks contest. Paper Town, need I say more! The secret word(s) this week are lolly gobble bliss bombs. For all the information on how to enter head over to Reviewer X!


These wonderful people stopped by The Story Siren and commented this week! I would personally like to thank all of you! So, THANKS!

Lenore of Presenting Lenore.
Lindsey of A Kindred Spirit’s Thoughts.
YA Book Realm of YA Book Realm.
Tempestt of Tempatt.
Alea author of I Heart You, You Haunt Me.
Book Chic of Book Chic.
Amee of The Chick manifesto.
Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.
Carmen T
Book~Adorer of Book~Adorer Forever Reading.
Tasha of And Another Book Read.
Chelsea of The Page Flipper
Lana of A Hoyden’s Look at Literature.
Ladytink_534 Movieholic & Bibliophile’s Blog.
Chelsie of Read, Read, Read.
Khyrinthia of Frenetic Reader.
Maggie Stiefvater author of Lament.
sharonluvscats of Sharon Loves Books and Cats.
Breanna of B is for Books.

Liviania of In Bed with Books.
Shooting Stars Mag of Shooting Stars Mag.
cat of Beyond Books.
Meredith of Meredith’s Musings.
TruBlu93 of Starry Night.
Maria of Bookalicous.
A.S. King author of Dust of a 100 Dogs.
Mo of Un-Mainstream Mom Reads.
Lauren of Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf.
Hylianvampire of Hylianvampire.
simply_megan of Simply Books.
Taylor Morris author of Total Knockout: Tales of an Ex-Class President.
Carol of Bookluver Carol’s Reviews.
mari of Mari Reads.
C. Leigh Purtill author of All About Vee.
Kelsey of Reading Keeps You Sane.
Diana Dang of Stop, Drop and Read.
PJ Hoover author of The Emerald Tablet.
Kelly Para author of Invisible Touch.
Cyndi Touchie
Bookworm of BookWorm Readers
Gabbi of All Five Stars.
Heather of What Was I Reading?
Em of Em’s Bookshelf.
Steph of Reviewer X.
Chick Lit Teens of Chick Lit Teens.
The Bookworm of Au Courant.
Carrie Ryan author of Forest of Hands and Teeth.
Evie S.

In Other News

Banned Book Week starts today. I’ll be posting about it later in the week. For more information on Banned Book week check out the ALA website.

The panelists and judges have been picked for this years Cybils. Cybils stands for The Children’s and YA Bloggers’ Literary Awards, and we’re still the only book awards of any sort from the blogging community. Starting Oct. 1st you will be able to nominate your favorites. For more information go, here.

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