Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday 11/13/12

Here are the top ten checkouts in the CHS Library this week:

1. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
2. Nook (again, not really a book but students are reading books on them!)
3. The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien (preparation for the movie?)
4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
5. The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan
6. The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
7. Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick
8. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
9. The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
10. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Friday, November 9, 2012

Empty Coffin novels by Gregg Olsen

About the Empty Coffin series (from goodreads.com): New York Times bestselling adult true crime author Gregg Olsen makes his YA debut with Empty Coffin, a gripping new fiction series for teens based on ripped-from-the-headlines stories…with a paranormal touch.

Summary of Envy (from goodreads.com): Crime lives--and dies--in the deceptively picture-perfect town of Port Gamble (aka “Empty Coffin”), Washington. Evil lurks and strange things happen--and 15-year-olds Hayley and Taylor Ryan secretly use their wits and their telepathic “twin-sense” to uncover the truth about the town's victims and culprits.  Envy, the series debut, involves the mysterious death of the twins' old friend, Katelyn. Was it murder? Suicide? An accident? Hayley and Taylor are determined to find out--and as they investigate, they stumble upon a dark truth that is far more disturbing than they ever could have imagined. Based on the shocking true crime about cyber-bullying, Envy will take you to the edge--and push you right over.

Summary of Betrayal (from goodreads.com): In this action-packed thriller sequel to Envy, foreign exchange student Olivia Grant is stabbed to death after a party--and the prime suspect is her best friend. As twins Hayley and Taylor Ryan get pulled into the aftermath of this Amanda Knox-like crime, they realize nothing is what it seems. Could it be betrayal of the ultimate kind?
Betrayal features real-life crime-solving techniques, heart-stopping suspense, plenty of red herrings, hard-hitting ethical questions, and information about the Amanda Knox case that inspired the novel. As the crime unravels, so does the twins' past…and they must face off against a family member who may unexpectedly have carried out the worst betrayal of all

Ms. Kiplinger's Opinion: I had not heard of this series, but saw that a sequel (Betrayal) came out to a book we already had in the library (Envy), so I ordered it thinking that they looked interesting.  When we received Betrayal, I read the summary and was intrigued seeing that it was loosely based on the true-crime story of Amanda Knox.  I had to read it at that point!  The first novel is based on the story of Megan Meier, who committed suicide after being cyberbullied by a "friend's" mother.  Though the story had a paranormal touch to it when it came to twins Hayley and Taylor, there was definitely some touches of the actual event worked into the story.  I enjoyed reading Envy, and the concept behind the writing (who doesn't like to read about things based on real events?!), so I immediately followed it up with Betrayal.  The Amanda Knox/Meredith Kercher case was pretty fascinating to me, so I was interested to see how Gregg Olsen would incorporate that into the story.  There are many small details that he used from the real case to make the story seem similar to it, but the story stood on its own also.  I was impressed with the twists that were involved in the stories and did not predict most of the things that happened which is the case with many crime mysteries and stories unfortunately.  Gregg Olsen does a good job of portraying the teens in a relatable way (especially for those like them), but makes the story interesting for anyone that likes reading crime fiction and has followed these types of stories.  I am anxiously awaiting the next title in the series to see what it is based on!  The author's notes are pretty important to the story as he helps explain the actual event that the story is based upon. 

You can find out more about the Megan Meier story here:

And more about the Amanda Knox/Meredith Kercher story here (no I don't use Wikipedia often, but it was the best summary I could find for this situation):

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday 11/6/12

This week's installment of the top ten checkouts in CHS Library:

1. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
2. Nook
3. Thirteen Reasons Why: a Novel by Jay Asher
4. The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
6. The Dead by Charles Higson
7. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
9. I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
10. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I find it very interesting that the Hunger Games trilogy is still dominating our Top 10!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown

Perfect Escape
Summary (from goodreads.com): Kendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines. The only way Kendra can stand out next to Grayson is to be perfect, and she has perfection down to an art -- until a cheating scandal threatens her flawless reputation.
Behind the wheel of her car, with Grayson asleep beside her, Kendra decides to drive away from it all -- with enough distance, maybe she'll be able to figure everything out. But eventually, Kendra must stop running and come to terms with herself, her brother, and her past.

Ms. Kiplinger's Opinion: As I've mentioned before, I am a huge Jennifer Brown fan (and I get to see her this weekend at the YA Lit Symposium--yay!), so I was all set to love this book...and I did!  OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) as a disease has always somewhat fascinated me.  So many people suffer from this ailment, many in only minor ways, and it was interesting to get a glimpse into what it would be like to live with someone who has it severely.  The story is more about the relationship between these two siblings though, and how it evolves throughout the road trip that the two take.  Kendra is running from a problem at school while thinking she can also cure her brother, Grayson, by exposing him to the things that set him off.  Along the way, they pick up a "hitchhiker" with a small baby and learn that they have both felt overshadowed by one another growing up.  This revelation is a defining moment for the brother and sister, as they try to figure out how they are going to get back home with only $46 in their pockets.  This story kept me interested the whole time and I was able to read it fairly quickly.  Even if you don't have a brother or sister with a mental illness, you can still relate to the sibling rivalry relationship that everyone deals with at some point or another.  For those who do have a sibling with a mental illness or physical impairment, it will be nice to read about someone you can sympathize with and relate to.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Exciting Weekend Ahead!

I am leaving for the Young Adult Literature Symposium Friday after school and I am extremely excited! I will get to meet some fabulous authors, like Ellen Hopkins, Jennifer Brown, and David Levithan; and sit in on workshops that they are leading.  The programs are about ideas and issues in Teen Libraries and there are lots of other fun things going on as well.  I can't wait to come back on Monday as a more educated librarian with new ideas for my students!