Sunday, May 9, 2010

Winner of "Getting Parents Out Of The Way" GIVEAWAY

Congratulations to Courtney H. chose her entry as the winner of this giveaway.  She will receive a copy of DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS by C.J. Omololu.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Most Creative Way To Get Parents Out Of The Way - GIVEAWAY

In honor of the New York Times article about lack of parental involvement in young adult literature, I thought I'd host a giveaway.

I want everyone out there to put on their thinking caps! Can you come up with the young adult novel that gets the parents out of the way in a really creative way?  If so, here is what you do:

1. Create a post on your blog about parents in young adult literature highlighting the book you choose.  You don't have to give away the method the author uses to get rid of the parents since it might spoil the book for people, so...we'll just assume it is creative since you've chosen it.

2. Come back here and use the Thumbnail Linky to link your post to this blog.

3. Post your entry by Friday, May 7th

4. The winner will be chosen randomly from all entries and will receive a copy of DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS by C.J. Omololu, which just happens to be my choice for this contest.  I'll link my choice first so you can see how it works.  (For the Thumbnail Linky you'll need a picture of your book cover ready to upload.  In the Caption be sure to put your name and blog.  See my example below.)

Parents in Young Adult Literature - Response to the New York Times Article

A couple of bloggers have already discussed the parent issue in response to the New York Times article from April 1st, 2010.  Steph Su and Donna @ Bites did great jobs going into detail about the subject. 

Here are my thoughts:

Long gone are the days of Leave It To Beaver. Very few children have the luxury of a stay-at-home mother and a father that works a 9-5 job. Instead of constant supervision, after-school snacks, and nightly family dinners, today's youth must cope with parents that leave for work before they leave for school, coming home to an empty house, and single-parent families.  Can children grow into well-adjusted, responsible citizens after living in this environment? Absolutely. But, would these children be able to relate to a story about a young adult with total support from their parents in all aspects of their lives? Maybe not.

Young Adult Literature is unique.  While a lot of adults do read YAL, it is marketed for the young adult.  It is written with that specific age group in mind.  That means, the book needs to be written in a way that teens will believe in the world the author creates.  In many cases, parents aren't the driving force in their childrens' lives. They are forced to act as the adult in the relationship and become self-sufficient.

Another thing to consider is a young adult novel, it is important for the young adult be the one to solve the problem of the story. Teens need to see examples of other smart, resourceful teens thinking for themselves. What fun would it be to read a story where all the problems are solves for the kid by the adults? Think about THE OUTSIDERS by S.E. Hinton. Would it be the classic that it is today if the police or school officials gathered the "Greasers" and the "Socs" up and sat them down to a friendly mediation meeting? No, the kids, as violent and dangerous as it was, handled the situation themselves. That is what we want to read.

So, what do you guys think? Do you miss having a responsible parent in the forefront of the young adult novel of today?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

YA Community Thanksgiving - Better Late Than Never

Adele of Persnickety Snark posted her thoughts on the positives of the YA Blogging Community. I wanted to post something about it right after I read it, but never got around to it.  Well, this weekend I was giving some thought to this blog and finally made a decision about what I am going to do with it.

Since I finally got my original blog transferred to a self-hosted, dedicated domain (Karin's Book Nook), I decided to keep it as my primary blog for book reviews and such. I have had it for over 3 years and feel it is established. So, The Book Jacket will contain SOME book reviews, giveaways, book news, and commentaries about books and the blogging community. 

As I mentioned above, I've been blogging about young adult literature for over 3 years. In that time there has been several instances of back-handed comments, hurt feelings, and jealousy between bloggers. I definitely don't get involved in the drama floats around the blogosphere. I'll occasionally read the controversial posts or comments, but rarely comment on them myself. In a way, this puts me in a self-created bubble, allows me to just have fun.

Here are some of the reasons I'm thankful to be involved and included with the young adult blogging community.

  • Having a blog has provided the motivation I need to read, read, read.  By reading and reviewing young adult books, I'm better able to do my job as a middle school librarian. Being able to suggest books to students is very important.  There is nothing like the feeling of handing a kid a book one day and having them come back to you a couple days later to tell you how much they loved it. 
  • Even with reading book review journals like School Library Journal, Booklist, and VOYA, it is impossible to know about all the books that are released each month.  Blogging provides another resource for me. I have had a much better knowledge of upcoming releases since reading blogs.
  • Authors - I love talking to authors.  I've had the pleasure of interviewing several. My favorite interviews were with Maggie Stiefvater and Patrick Ness.  In addition to the interviews, I had the pleasure of communicating with some authors by using Twitter.  Kami Garcia always has nice things to say and the awesome Carrie Ryan really came through for me when I had some questions about revising a manuscript.
  • Other Bloggers - I enjoy swapping books and exchanging messages with several of my fellow young adult book bloggers. I'd like to have more of a relationship with some, but I don't really know how to go about it.  I don't want to come off as stalkerish and creepy, so I kind of just keep to myself.  Maybe after meeting and socializing with some of them at BEA I'll feel comfortable calling them my friends.  At this point it seems a little presumptuous of me to call them friends. I have no idea how they feel about me, so... Anyway, I'd like to include the following bloggers as my acquaintances (hopefully soon-to-be friends): The Ravenous Reader, Reverie Book Reviews, The Story Siren, Sharon Loves Books and Cats, Mrs. DeRaps, Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf, Kristin @ Bookworming in the 21st Century.
  • Information - I tell you what. News travels fast.  When a book cover is released, it shows up on several blogs.  I love how we all share information. 
  • Reading Suggestions - I will never be at a loss for something to read.  Even though I have piles and piles of books around the house, I'm not always in the mood for what I have.  With all the blogs I follow, it is easy to get suggestions for things to read.  Both in and out of my reading comfort zones.
  • Blog Designs - I'm not very good at this yet, but after seeing so many beautiful designs out there I have decided to learn.  I can't wait to take a class on design or Photoshop or something.
So, there is my list of things I'm thankful for.  Thanks to everyone who reads this and follows me. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

STILL SUCKS TO BE ME by Kimberly Pauley - REVIEW

Mirrorstone – May 10, 2010
Life as a vampire isn’t working out so great for Mina.  The Vampire Relocation Agency is forcing her and her parents to move to a podunk town in Louisiana.  Adding to the anxiety of moving, the family can’t take anything with them.  No clothes, photos, or keepsakes from their old lives are allowed.  The VRA can’t take a chance on someone recognizing them since the Hamilton’s have been pronounced dead.  They can’t even have access to their money until some time has passed.  Mina is miserable, but not having her best friend Serena to talk to is like pouring salt in the wound.
Even though Mina has been through some major life changes, her parents still insist she start school right away.  Being a Senior, Mina expects to be left out of everything since cliques and friendships have already been established, but in Cartville, LA, Mina is the coolest thing since sliced bread.  Mina immediately finds a nosy, talkative wanna-be friend, a boy that desperately wants to go out with her, and a girl who hates her guts simply because she exists.  Oh! There is a handsome, mysterious guy named Cameron, too.  This is definitely not a good time for Mina’s boyfriend, George, to run off to Brazil to bond with his parents.
Mina takes it all in stride – even takes some vampire continuing education classes with her mom and learns to do a little shape-shifting. Cameron also starts to teach her how to use mind control.  Mina is becoming a better vampire everyday.
Then, Serena shows up on her doorstep and crazy, Goth-Girl Raven arrives in town.  Even talk of the human-hating Black Talon group is rumored to be in Cartville.  Mina discovers that even though she decided to become a vampire – her life still sucks!
STILL SUCKS TO BE ME is a cute story. If  you liked the first book in the series you definitely need to pick up a copy.  There were only three things that knocked it down to 4 glasses.
1. The journal entries started to get a little redundant.
2. I would have liked more drama between Cameron and Mina.
3. The excitement needed to start sooner.  Mina’s crumbling, while warranted, took up too much of the beginning.
You’ll enjoy STILL SUCKS TO BE ME much more if you read SUCKS TO BE ME first.
This is a great vampire novel for the younger crowd. Mina and the boys in her life are well-behaved teenagers.  Mina even maintains a great relationship with her parents!  The Hamiltons oops, Smiths are a great vampire family.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Walker Books for Young Readers – February 2, 2010

Lucy lives in conditions many people can’t even imagine.  The kitchen is unusable, there isn’t any hot water in the house, and the furnace is broken.  There are piles and piles of papers, plastic bags, and boxes littering every corner of the house.  In order to maneuver, Lucy and her mother have to navigate through a maze of cleared paths just wide enough for a person.

Lucy feels her life is made up of lies and secrets. She lies to her friends about why they can’t come over.  She avoids any topic of conversation that will bring attention to her or her family.  Lucy is scared to death when she hears a knock at the door – knowing she could never allow someone to come inside to see what her house looks like.  This is the reason her mother can’t call a repairman to fix the heater.

After another one of their usual fights where her mother accuses Lucy of moving something, Lucy packs an overnight bag and leaves to go to the movies and spend the night with her best and only friend.  She doesn’t know it yet, but life is about to get a lot more complicated for her.  When Lucy comes home the next morning, she discovers something horrible.  Will she be able to deal with the tragedy and keep her secrets in tact?

DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS is a book that will suck you into the story.  Your heart will hurt for Lucy as she reveals memories from her past with the reader.  This book will certainly cause you to take a look at the clutter around your house and ask, “Do I really need those old magazines?”

I couldn’t give DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS 5 glasses simply because of the implausibility of the way Lucy handled the situation – it seemed more like denial than a plan.  However, this didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story.

Leave a comment and let me know what you thought of the book.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Feiwel & Friends – May 25, 2010

As the curtain rises on Act 2 of the Thèâtre Illuminata, we find Bertie at the beginning of her quest to rescue Nate from the clutches of the evil Sea Goddess from The Little Mermaid.  As the new Mistress of Revels, it is her job to put pen to paper and create the story of the journey.  With Ariel, the air spirit from The Tempest, and the delightfully mischievous fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bertie attempts to navigate her way through the world outside the Theater.

Complications and obstacles appear at every turn and Bertie’s emotions aren’t making matters any easier. Her feelings for Ariel have evolved into something harder to define, but her loyalties to Nate leave her feeling guilty about her closeness with Ariel.  In order to save Nate, she’ll have to explore her true feelings and decide which man she loves the most.

PERCHANCE TO DREAM is very different from EYES LIKE STARS.  Lisa Mantchev introduces many new characters and a completely new setting.  The reader gets to experience what life is like outside the theater.  Readers will be relieved to know the fairies provide the same comic relief as they did in the first book.  Lisa Mantchev leaves readers ready for the third installment in the series.

If you were a fan of EYES LIKE STARS, you’ll definitely want to read this wildly, creative book.  It isn’t completely necessary for a person to read the first book to enjoy PERCHANCE TO DREAM, but… it would probably be best.

Book rec’d as part of Traveling ARC Tours.

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