Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lore: A Book Tour and Giveaway!

Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour, for Lore! I am very excited to share with you this book!


REVIEW: I am a HUGE fan of mythology, fairy tales, and the retelling of such. With most anthologies, there will be one or possibly more in the collection that just isn't as great as the others. As much as we as readers say we will not judge each short story on each other, when they are brought together, it's nearly impossible to do so.

In saying that, let me forewarn you that it is VERY hard to review each story based on it's own merits. As a whole, this anthology will satisfy your needs. There were enough stories in this collection to make me feel I did not waste my time, which is always a great fear! (There just is NOT enough time in the world to read everything I want to read.) That is one of, if not the greatest thing about collections. You can pick and choose what you are looking for! If you feel a story is not working for you, don't feel guilty to skip it. Not every book will be amazing, and it's silly to expect an anthology to also be a "one size fits all" situation.

Overall, this book gets 4 stars, when I average my ratings for each short story. That's a pretty solid score!

Don't forget to follow the tour!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review: Breathe, Annie, Breathe

Miranda Kenneally - Sourcebooks Fire

The details:  302 pages, paperback ARC, 2 days to read along munching on jelly beans!

(From Goodreads)
Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

Review: Before I start in on my review of this book, let me just say that Sourcebooks is amazing. I have visited their booth twice now, once at ALA and once at BEA, and they have the sweetest people working for them. Thank you, Sourcebooks! They also handed out super cute tins with jelly beans inside, to go along with the ARC. How adorable!

Now, I first read a Miranda Kenneally book last winter, when I was accepted for Racing Savannah from Netgalley. I was hooked. So when I saw on my scheduler that Miranda would be signing at BEA 2014, I HAD TO GO. This was probably my number 1 must have (along with Rainbow Rowell's Landline...) I wound up towards the back of the line, but I was perfectly ok with that. Her team handed us our copies while we waited, and I was literally already on page 40 by the time we made it to the actual signing. 

This book talks a lot about running. The main character is currently training, although she never 'was' a runner. I do not know if I liked the book as much as I did because that's EXACTLY where I am, or not. It sure didn't hurt, that's for sure. ;-) I can tell you that this book if anything, pushed me to run more and train harder for my upcoming 10k. (It's hard to become a runner. It seems everyone IS a runner, and no one besides you are a 'newbie' runner. That's something I really enjoyed about B,A,B is that she is NOT a perfect practiced runner. She understands what I'm going through, and vice-versa.)  She understands where I am coming from.

Like all of Miranda's books, this is a YA romance. There is no excplict sex, but there is quite detailed foreplay. This isn't a book I would probably allow in my school library (middle school) but I would keep it behind my desk for those students that I personally know can handle the book/have permission from their parents. (I read my first romance in 7th grade! My mom gave me the book! I was hooked!) 

If you like running, YA, Romance, or fluff sweet books, this is the book for you! Trust me, this book hits the sweet spot. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if you went for a run after! ;-)

Rating: 4 stars

Monday, August 4, 2014


Who loves a good *new* book? ME! Sometimes a new book squeaks out surprising me. So I try to make it my mission to keep an eye out on what some of the most anticipated titles of the season are, and when they are released.

The books featured here are not the only new releases this week, but just a handful of books Bobby and/or I am interested in. Like usual, if you have reviewed any of these let us know!  Leave a link to your reviews and thoughts and I will check them out.

What book are YOU most excited for this week? 

Happy Reading! 

Monday Musings #4,

Musing Mondays is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading, in which book bloggers muse about about something related to books. (Usually.) Rants, raves, random thoughts are all welcome here. I personally will be using Musing Mondays to talk about my other job: being a middle school librarian.

Musing Mondays / School Library Updates

Today I want to talk about Summer Reading. Does anyone remember their teachers or librarians pushing for summer reading, outside of the public library reading program?

I sure don't. Sadly, I didn't push it to my students this past year either. The truth is, the summer gets busy. We all say summer is a vacation, but for me I feel summer is my busiest season! With house cleaning finally underway, cheerleading practices 3 times a week, fundraisers, camps,  craft fairs, and preparing for the next school year, I don't get much reading done. I don't want my students to feel like they need to go without sleep just to read. I know this sounds backwards, but I don't want to ruin reading for those students who are on the verge of NOT being readers. If a student loves to read, they will. If a student is pushed too hard, they won't.
I can tell you most books I have 'hated' were books I was forced to read in school. I know what I like to read, when I like to read and where. I can't focus sitting in a hard chair, elbows held up at an awkward angle.. It sucks.

This summer I have started and abandoned more books than I have read, because I was forcing myself to read. I was burning myself out. Most avid readers have that feeling once in awhile. That burn-out. Not feeling joy from reading, nothing seems to 'hit the spot' and you feel like you are just wasting time. This is NORMAL and I feel many of my students don't know that. They don't think it's ok to read a burn-out, which I feel is a disservice to our future readers and book bloggers. This year I am going to REALLY hit hard that idea that taking a break from reading, or going back to a 'fluff' read to get back into things is 'bad.'

This post is getting wordy, but let me reiterate: I will not force my students to read. I will continue to give them options, and hope they make a connection. However I will not and can not force them into something.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Musings #3

Musing Mondays is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading, in which book bloggers muse about about something related to books. (Usually.) Rants, raves, random thoughts are all welcome here. I personally will be using Musing Mondays to talk about my other job: being a middle school librarian.

Musing Mondays / School Library Updates

Welcome back!
It's been awhile since I've updated, and that is because I've been busy! See, I'm also a crafter. So I was working on things for a craft show that I just finished. I make painted wood signs, and with a toddler running around it's been time consuming! 

 Now the clock is on, for school to start back up, and I feel like I have NOTHING finished. I never did find a checkers or chess set, and my decorations consist of 2 plastic paper plates and ball lights to hang up. Oh, and I bought some cheap butterfly wings to hang up around too. (The kind that kids wear, not real wings! ;-))

I also plan on using a QR reader for my "What is Mrs. B reading?" station, since all students will be getting an ipad this year.  I was also hoping on working on my binder this summer of our book recommendations, but that hasn't happened. There is still a month left, I need to get things done!



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Book Blitz! One, Two, Three by Elodie Nowodazkij +Giveaway

One, Two, Three… by Elodie Nowodazkij
Publication date: June 26th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance,
 Young Adult

When seventeen-year-old Natalya’s dreams of being a ballerina are killed in a car accident along with her father, she must choose: shut down—like her mother—or open up to love.

Last year, Natalya was attending the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Last year, she was well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina. Last year, her father was still alive.

But a car crash changed all that—and Natalya can’t stop blaming herself. Now, she goes to a regular high school in New Jersey; lives with her onetime prima ballerina, now alcoholic mother; and has no hope of a dance career.

At her new school, however, sexy soccer player Antonio sees a brighter future for Natalya, or at least a more pleasant present, and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell.

But when upsetting secrets come to light and Tonio’s own problems draw her in, Natalya shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.

Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him—and destroys herself?
You can find the book here: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 27, 2014

Family Friday!

After a long hiatus, Family Friday is back! 

Family Friday is something that I do here on Book and Babes that features picture books. Since this blog was created by 3 moms we had our own families at heart when we started this. Since then I have to come to realize that a LOT of book bloggers I was coming across have kiddos themselves. They must obviously also be invested in quality books for their kids, too.

Not to mention the BIGGEST factor in all of this: THE MOMMY BLOGGERS! Seriously, you probably know what I'm talking about? The biggest blogging faction at the moment is the DIY-SAHM mommy bloggers. Why are we not blogging for them? We are we not bridging those gaps?

I know, such big questions, right? ;-) In the end, I decided to bring back Family Fridays. Children's and Picture Books might not be the big draw in the book blogging world, but it is STILL an important aspect I won't ignore.

Caterina and the Lemonade Stand
by Erin Eitter Kono
Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin Group imprint)
May 2014

Synopsis: Caterina loves making lists and planning big, creative projects, and this time she’s planning a lemonade stand – the perfect summer pastime. She’s hoping to earn enough money for a new scooter, but finds that she’s not the only one in town with the lemonade idea. Everybody seems to be selling the refreshing treat, so how can Caterina’s stand truly stand out?

Mom's thoughts: When I first saw this sitting on the shelf, I picked it up because the cover is gorgeous. It looks reminiscent of a well-loved handmade scrapbook. Lots of color hues, patterns, and rickrack. I LOVE the design of this book. Beyond the physical look of the book, let's take a quick look at the story. This book begins with the perfect intro:
"Caterina is a little brown bird with great big colorful thoughts."
I love it, don't you?
Also, Caterina is a list maker. My heart is singing. I love this small fact. I know many people, myself included LOVE lists. There is some weird satisfaction in crossing things off my list. When I get crazy, I even color-code my lists. ;-)

The BEST thing about this book?
The surprise ending. 
Spoiler Alert! (Trust me, you need this book.)
Really, I am going to spoil this book.
Are you ready?

The scooter she wants to buy? Is for HER BROTHER.
I know this is a common thing in picture books. Showing how to share and care for siblings....
but this book really hits the message home. You see, the pictures show her brother helping her out every step of the way. They look like loving siblings. The Author however never mentions him throughout the entire book. You think this book is all about Caterina. Her lemonade stand, HER money, etc. Not at any given point in the book is she told by a parent to remember her sibling. This truly comes from a selfless place, and I absolutely love this book.

Tater-tot's thoughts: Well, since Taters only has a handful of words right now, I'm going to do my best to interpret her thoughts for her. Tater-tot enjoyed this short book. She loved turning the paged and pointing out colors. (There are a lot!) She loved the owls, and since owls are 'the thing' right now, she loves being able to point them out and hoot to them. She is still a little small to understand the words of this book, but that doesn't mean much. When I tell her to to grab a book, this is one she commonly brings back to me. HOOT! HOOT!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review: Infected

Scott Sigler - Crown Publishing

The details:  342 pages, E-book

(From Goodreads)

Across America a mysterious disease is turning ordinary people into raving, paranoid murderers who inflict brutal horrors on strangers, themselves, and even their own families.
Working under the government’s shroud of secrecy, CIA operative Dew Phillips crisscrosses the country trying in vain to capture a live victim. With only decomposing corpses for clues, CDC epidemiologist Margaret Montoya races to analyze the science behind this deadly contagion. She discovers that these killers all have one thing in common – they’ve been contaminated by a bioengineered parasite, shaped by a complexity far beyond the limits of known science.

Meanwhile Perry Dawsey – a hulking former football star now resigned to life as a cubicle-bound desk jockey – awakens one morning to find several mysterious welts growing on his body. Soon Perry finds himself acting and thinking strangely, hearing voices . . . he is infected. 

The fate of the human race may well depend on the bloody war Perry must wage with his own body, because the parasites want something from him, something that goes beyond mere murder.

Review: I first picked up this series only because it looked interesting at BEA. While I enjoyed BEA, I was worried I would feel a little out of my element. There are a LOT of YA books available, but not many Science-Fiction and/or Fantasy. This was one I picked up there, although I might not have picked it up otherwise.

Sigler created a captivating story that is actually quite horrific on a psychological level.  The pacing was done well, with the suspense actually building up gradually throughout the book. As my wife knows (and now do you) one of my BIGGEST reading turn-offs is when an author goes into too much description for settings and scenery. I don't need a detailed description of a forest for three pages. While Sigler does use accurate descriptions of surroundings, they thankfully were not overly verbose.

Another thing Sigler does an excellent job at is making his characters realistic.  They have current real world problems, including having characters deal with raising a gay child they don't necessarily agree with. As an author, that takes courage to include such a polarizing character dealing with these situations.  There were times I temporarily forget they are fictional and not real accounts. 

One of my only complaints would be that this book starts off with a lot of science terms in describing how the infection starts out. I personally have a background in science and medicine (I am a nuclear pharmacist after all!) and the extra details really made this story stand out and come alive for me.  However, if science is not for you, I can see this book being off-putting. The science jargon does come before the story starts to pick up, and it is well worth the effort.  Yet, be warned that you will be itching and scratching yourself a lot while reading. 

As a side note, I don't often say this: you should absolutely read the afterwords by the author.  It is a touching thanks to his parents, and I was really glad I read it. 

Rating: 5 stars

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Pointe

Welcome to TEASER TUESDAYS! 6-24-14 JENNI edition!
Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading, in which we post a little *non-spoiler* teaser of the book we are currently reading.

This book has been on my TBR list for what seems like forever! Every time Bobby and I visited the book store, this book called out to me. I sent the name to my e-mail so I would remember to buy the ebook format. (Like I could forget such an easy name!) Yet for some reason, I was hesitant. Until last week, when I was sitting at the bookstore drafting my posts for the week. I am a procrastinator and needed a break. So.... I grabbed it. 
I'm glad I did. It's amazing.

Pg: 22
 "Donovan was brave, but you can be brave for only so long, and as I lie under my covers staring up at the ceiling, I can't stop wondering if four years was long enough to break him."


Monday, June 23, 2014

Just Released!

Alright, so I lied. These are not just released, they are ABOUT to be just released. They come out tomorrow!

These featured are not the only releases, but just a handful of books Bobby and/or I am interested in. Like usual, if you have reviewed any of these I am interested in reading! Leave a link to your reviews and thoughts and I will check them out!

Which book are you most excited for? Last week it was very easily Ruin and Rising. I think I'm the only blogger who currently does not have it in my possession. Go figure!

Happy Reading!

Musing Monday #2

Musing Mondays is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading, in which book bloggers muse about about something related to books. (Usually.) Rants, raves, random thoughts are all welcome here. I personally will be using Musing Mondays to talk about my other job: being a middle school librarian.

Musing Mondays / School Library Updates

Welcome back!

Last week I updated you on the current status of my library. (Spoiler: It's gone.) This week I will share with you some of the plans I have for the new library! It's a bit hard because it is a middle school. (6th-8th grade.)

Students are still brought to the library weekly, BUT  they are getting to that point where they don't 'need' to read, so they just view this time as time to get out of class. With that being said, I want to make the library a place they WANT to be. Not just for reading (even though that would be awesome!) I want it to become the central heart of the school. So how can I do that?

The first thing I am doing is making a few 'centers.' I'm keeping my eyes out for garage sales in hopes to find a chess set, a checkers set, and some other small logic type games. I plan on spray painting them bright colors (pink and purple anyone?) and having them sit on a table year-round. Students can play a game with another, or simply move one piece and have it be an on-going game.


This year, our district wide March Into Reading theme will be Camp Read. Which, is fitting because I wanted to do a Camp/outdoors theme anyways. So now I need to plan how to make the library camp-esque while still leaving enough in able to go 'over the top' during march.

My welcome back to the library boards will be bugs and critters and will say 'Catch the Reading Bug!' Right around spring I will change that to 'Dig into Reading!'

I want to get lanterns (chinese ones maybe? Tons of color!) And hang them up around the library, with white christmas lights strung up as well.

I will make owl decorations and create one bulleitin board to be the 'Hoot of the Week' and feature a teacher, and what book they are currently reading themselves. Hopefully. This might be a bit of work, since I would need to scrounge up pictures of them!

I also am going to grab this book and read it aloud to my kids. Who says middle school is too old to read a picture book to?

This is an example of what I want to do during March, but that is still a long way away.

Do you have any cute camp ideas for a middle school library? Let me know in the comments below!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Author Behavior

I recently read the first two books of a series, (which you can probably figure it out by following me on Twitter!) and while importing my short review into Goodreads I stumbled across something that instantly made me feel like I stepped into the twilight zone.

I met this author at BEA. I replied to this author on twitter several times. I thought this author was a nice person.

 I suddenly found myself forced into this rabbit hole, with no help of escape. I read about despicable things this author said to reviewers, things the authors team said and did, and of course everyone's reactions.


This all transpired a couple of years ago, but still this hit me like a freight truck. I have no idea if this author's apology was sincere or if they have changed their ways. Yet I am stuck. I feel I can not honorably review her book now, without a bias. I feel this behavior has soiled my opinion of the book and it is not fair to future readers for me to have a negative review based upon the author's actions alone.

Which is sad. I enjoyed the book. It wasn't wonderful, but it was a read I enjoyed in a day. I had a general pleasurable read. Now I can't help but feel shame, which is also absurd.

This author acted like a spoiled kid who did not win the talent show. Not everyone is going to love everything you do. It is important for those to remember their audience. Spurning your blog followers, your readers, your staff, etc. can bite anyone in the butt. Why I think some feel the need to go above and verbally call out others on an OPINION that was in no way inflammatory, is just because they haven't been around negative criticism.

I hope to one day teach my daughter how to gracefully win and lose. That means learning how to accept duplicate birthday gifts with grace, how to be disappointed but now show it, if she gets something she doesn't want. How to thank someone for the time they spent coming to visit her, getting her anything, even if the outcome wasn't what she expected. How to gracefully thank people for the blessings they bestow on her, and to be a gracious host. I can only hope she understands the meaning of good manners. How blessed she is, and how negative attention is just a way of life. Hard, absolutely. But still a part of life.

Dear Authors:
Your behavior affects us all. While I may not have been the target of your attentions, it may still affect my view of you, and what I recommend to my friends. It affects how I view similar authors, and how I will look for new authors to peruse. I will be keeping my ears open for more drama, because honestly? I don't wish to be anywhere near this kind of drama. I do not want to purchase the material of an author who is going to lash out at her readers. I do not want to follow an author like this on social media. Be a positive role model, please?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Stacking the Shelves
Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and gives us a chance to share with you what books we have recently bought, won, been given, or stole. ;-)

Since we are both still up to our necks in books from B.E.A, this week's stacking the shelves is actually quite short.

Coming this week: Teaser Tuesday of Pointe!
Reviews of both.

If you have any reviews linking to these, please share the link in comments! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

W... W... W... WEDNESDAY!
W3 is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading, and it highlights current/recent reads. Feel like joining? Click on the image above, answer the questions, and share your link with me! 

1. What are you CURRENTLY reading?
I am reading Pointe by Brandy Colbert and Stormy Persuasion by Johanna Lindsey.

2. What are you RECENTLY finish?
 The Fault in our Stars. You can find the review here.

 3. What do you think you'll read NEXT?
I really want to read Landline by Rainbow Rowell, but I will need to find it in my BEA mess... er... organized nice and neatly pile.

Review: Patient Zero

Jonathan Maberry- St. Martin's Griffin

The details:  421 pages, 2 sittings to read

(From Goodreads)

When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there's either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills... and there's nothing wrong with Joe Ledger's skills.  And that's both a good, and a bad thing.  It's good because he's a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can't handle. This rapid response group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS for short. It's bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance....

Review: I first started reading Jonathan Maberry because I met him at bea2014.  He is actually quite entertaining in real life, and very personable. He came to his signing half an hour early and talked to those of us waiting for him. (He knows a LOT about blue whales, FYI.)

Patient Zero is the first novel in the Joe Ledger series starring, of course, Joe Ledger. If you can't already tell, this book is also about ZOMBIES. AHHH! The subject of zombies in this series actually takes the more modern approach of man-made science rather than the supernatural in raising of the dead.  The science is explained in a brief synopsis that goes into just enough detail to make it seem plausible, but stops short of being boring. 

I really enjoyed the realism of the characters portrayed in Patient Zero.  They act courageously in battle but there are still mental consequences for the actions that they must take.  It's this vulnerability that made it easy to care about the characters and immerse myself in their world.  One thing that I really liked about the character portrayal is that Joe is a gentleman. He becomes a bit of a positive role model, and in one specific moment in the book Joe must choose to be a friend and a gentleman instead of taking advantage of a lady who is emotionally distraught and willing to sleep with him.  To be honest, it puts a new light on some of the cliched scenes you often see in the media. 
 There is cursing in the book, and child zombies do get shot. However, I feel for my child I would allow her to read these books in middle school if she seems mature enough to handle it, but obviously due to cursing and zombies it may not be suitable for younger audiences. Older teens and adults alike would enjoy this read, and thankfully there are several books in the series. Patient Zero was just enough to whet my appetitie for more, and in within finishing the first book, I purchases the rest of the series. I can not wait to see what Maberry has in store for the rest of the series.

Kudos, Maberry, kudos.
Rating: 5 stars

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Teaser Tuesday from Bobby

Welcome to TEASER TUESDAYS! 6-17-14 BOBBY edition!
Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading, in which we post a little *non-spoiler* teaser of the book we are currently reading.

This is Bobby's FIRST teaser Tuesday, and he is excited to share with you a quick snippet from Patient Zero. This is the first book in a series written by Jonathon Maberry. (The man my husband compliments more than me!) Click on the picture to learn more about the book!

 "Then one of the other children in the center of the room snarled with unnatural hunger and rushed at Skip's group. The gunfire began again."


Just Released!

It's TUESDAY! Which is Christmas. Like it is every Tuesday, right?

Well, not Christmas, but release day! Look at these wonderful titles that are being released today! Check them out, and if you have reviewed any of these, please send me a link! I'm interested to hear what you think of these! 

*These are not the only releases today, but just a handful of books I am interested in.*
I know many of you are probably already devouring Ruin and Rising, but just LOOK at the Dark Metroplis cover. I love it. LOVE LOVE LOVE. What are you most looking forward to getting your hands on?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Musing Mondays

Musing Mondays is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading, in which book bloggers muse about about something related to books. (Usually.) Rants, raves, random thoughts are all welcome here. I personally will be using Musing Mondays to talk about my other job: being a middle school librarian.

Musing Mondays / School Library

Today is my first official day of summer break. School is out, I am not to return for another 9ish weeks, and I can enjoy some one on one time with my Tater-tot.

However my husband and I felt it was appropriate to keep her in day-care at least twice a week so that she can keep up the routine. She loves daycare, loves getting to interact with other kids on the daily, so who are we to object? Not to mention that gives us more time to clean up the house, have some 1 on 1 time, exercise, and work on the blog. In fact, I am currently sitting at my local Barnes and Noble cafe. ;-)

So, what could I possibly have to talk about? I no longer have a library. I've mentioned this on Twitter, but I don't think I've mentioned it here. My school has some major changes underway this summer. The biggest is that we are going 1:1 with technology. All kids will be given an Ipad, and the instructors are busy working on finding ways to incorporate that into the classroom.

The other major change is that my old library space is becoming the school office area. Sadly, we feel the need to make our office the entrance to the school. As it is now, once you are buzzed into the school, you have access to go wherever. We are making it necessary that you must enter through the office before gaining access to the school. Well, where is the library going?

Good question. Think of my library being a square. Then there is the multi-purpse room, another square next to mine. There is a small courtyard between the two.The are expanding the far wall of my library to connect to the MP room, taking away the courtyard. From there, I am retaining a SMALL portion of my original space, making the library a lovely 'L' shape. My desk will go in the apex of the L. Lovely huh?

I honestly can not picture this. AT ALL. I have seen the sketches, but they still blow my mind. I guess it will be a HUGE surprise come fall to see what this will look like.

As of right now? The outside wall, my circulation desk, the office walls, wall to the computer lab, and the counselor's office have all been removed. What is left.... is an empty shell of a room. It is day 1 of break, and I have no library.

The wall with the exit is the wall that was demolished. The wall in the back is what I will be retaining. Where I am standing/the desk will be the school offices. They will be constructing a wall down the middle there to split us apart.

This was in middle of packing. Excuse the mess. The wall pictured above is blocking the computer lab. That has been removed as well. That will be where my new desk will be. 

 This was the beginning of storing. Pictured here is ONLY the main library items. This does not include my desk items, office, or storage. Ladies and gentlemen, this was the 'library' since April.

This was day 1 of demolition. The area in the left picture will be the new library space. The empty holes the plywall is covering WAS the computer lab. The giant hole WAS the door of my library. Since taking these photos, both of those exterior walls pictured in the left picture are completely gone. :(

In the end, I am SUPER excited to see what I will be receiving in the fall. I will be sure to post pictures when I can!

The Fault in our Stars: Review

John Green- Dutton Books

The details:  313 pages, 2 sittings to read

(From Goodreads)

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Review: I know, I live under a rock. Well, not particularly. I live under a 'I don't enjoy crying' rock. I've heard about this book. A LOT. With the buzz around this book, who couldn't? 

My kids have been asking me/telling me/YELLING at me to read this book. However, I am an emotional person. I cry easily. Sappy romantics, animal injuries, threats, etc. I knew this was a tear-jerker. I knew at least someone would die. So I refused to read the book. Then I realized that was a rather shitty thing for me to do. I am a middle school (6th-8th grade) librarian. This is the book my kids are reading and asking recommendations from. I need to read this book so that I can know more than the basics and help my students. Boy was I in for a shock.

I didn't cry. I didn't even really care for the books! Overall, I felt like I missed several chapters. I didn't feel any connection between Hazel and Gus. I felt like a lot of the "love" was forced, (however typical of a young romance) and I felt the story was a bit too fantastical. 

Both characters seemed too 'perfect.' Here's the girl who is dying but graduates early and is taking college courses. And this super cute boy who flirts like no-other who talks like a grandpa. Who is SO in love he is willing to spend his make-a-wish on this chick he just met. 

While that sounds selfless, newsflash: he only does it to get in her pants. Literally. He even ADMITS this. 

I felt no sympathy for these characters. The characters I connected the most with? Hazel's parents. 

Hazel's parents are stuck in the middle of wanting their daughter to be active in life, safe from all harm, spend time with them, and yet not holding back. They are in the mourning process without trying to show that they are. That is tragic. Being a mother myself, I can't imagine living knowing that my child is basically on her death bed. How can I live my own life while telling Taylor to live hers? I would want to spend every minute I can with her, even though that would be selfish. She should be happy and spend her time living the short life she has.

It goes almost without saying that the ONLY time my eyes even misted in this book was towards the end of the book where the mom lets it be known to Hazel that she has been planning for the 'future' and had been keeping it a secret from her daughter. She had been taking classes towards becoming a social worker, and didn't want her daughter to feel like she was thinking less of her daughter. 

THAT alone was the only redeeming quality of this book. I felt John Green really understood a parent's anguish. Oh gosh, the feels are back.

Oh yeah, there was love here, wasn't there? This was something that I abhorred, but understood. I can see why teen and preteens would love this kind of book. Love without conditions. Love without strings. Love is love. However love came after eying each other up. Creepily. Brazenly. She goes home with him, with in the first hour she meets him. (See why I thought I missed a chapter?) 

Overall, here is how I felt in gif form:

  Rating: 1 star

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Stacking the Shelves
Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and gives us a chance to share with you what books we have recently bought, won, been given, or stole. ;-)

Hello! As many of you are slowly getting to know me, here is something you need to know: I enjoy fantasy and sci-fiction novels. Most of my StS's will feature these two genres. 
These two specific series' first grabbed my attention at B.E.A. In fact, my wife and coblogger had mentioned Jon Maberry being popular in her school, so I pointed out one of his signings to her. It was due to her prompting that I picked up one of his books to read myself. 
I'm glad I did. I've already a couple from each author and they didn't disappoint.

**Please note, ALL book covers on this blog link to their page on Goodreads.