March 31, 2012

In My Mailbox-March 31st 2012

Lost in the Library graphic

In My Mailbox, is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Each week we are invited to post about the books we got via mail, store, library or friend.

Last week I was away in wonderful Florida with the family visiting Mickey Mouse and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We had an amazing time! Here are a couple pictures of the goodies I got this week:


My new wand!

A Gryffindor Crest - 
we have a "travel" back pack we take on vacation with us and always get a patch to sew on it.

I ordered a Hunger Games water bottle with the District I was assigned on it...I'm so excited about this- my husband rolled his eyes-but I LOVE IT-my ID card is on it's way too!

I had a copy of I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga waiting for me when I arrived home.-Thank you Hatchette!!!


Dumbledores Pet

And look I also got Fawkes!! Well my son got him....

Here's a couple more pictures from our trip:




Author Heather Brewer
Heather Brewer and I - She was seated at the table next to me during breakfast....
 look  how  excited I am!!!
She was soooo sweet!


What was in your mailbox? 

March 30, 2012

My Bloggiesta -TO DO LIST


I have been inspired by all the Bloggiesta posts around the web to join in the fun, and spend some focused time working on my blog. Here's my to do list:

  1. Experiment with Window's Live Writer and start using it for blog posts. Thanks to Jacinda's post, this sounds like a tool I can really use. 
  2. SEO SEO SEO - This is something I really need to work and I love April's tips that I found here. (This will still be a work in progress for me)
  3. Find and install new social media buttons
  4. Clean up and update my reviews page and workshops page -Workshops page is still to do...
  5. Add more resource content to my Story Time blog -didn't get to this...
  6. Write and schedule up to 5 reviews- I wrote and scheduled 3 review... that's close right?
I found participation in this extremely helpful and look forward to September's edition :) 
Are you participating in Bloggiesta? What are your goals? Any other ways you think I can improve things here at Lost in the Library?
How did you do?


March 29, 2012

Winners of Giveaways

I'm back from vacation and we had the best time! I realized that I have not posted the winner from my Pandemonium giveaway, and the winner of the ARC of Embrace never responded to my email so I am announcing a new winner for that as well:)

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaways:

The winner of Embrace by Jessica Shirvington- Annette


The winner of Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver- Theresa @ Fade into Fantasy

Congrats!!
I'm sending you both an email, pls respond within 48 hrs or another winner will be chosen

Thanks!

March 17, 2012

Lost in the Library is on Vacation

Hi!

I'm headed to Universal and Disney this week with my guys. I'll be posting next weekend with lots of pics:)
Have a wonderful week!
Jen

March 15, 2012

Book Review: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Published by Harper Collins January 2012

Summary: 

Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. 

Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line. 

Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better. 

Thoughts:

Destined to be a classic, The One and Only Ivan had me on the first page. "I am Ivan, I am a Gorilla. It's not as easy as it looks." 
Ivan is a Silverback Gorilla, but instead of being the protector of his family in the wild, he's behind glass in a mall. Soft hearted, intelligent, he finds friendship and companionship in the other animals at the mall. 
Lovely text, and illustrations help us glimpse into Ivan's life, his fears, his hopes and what he misses about his old ways. When Ruby arrives he strives to make a better life for her.  
This story is for everyone. Adults and kids. Ivan is captivating and reminds us that all life is to be valued not just human life. It's a perfect read for middle grades or a read aloud to share with a younger group. Highly recommended.

March 13, 2012

Embrace winner & interview with Jessica Shirvington

Embrace (Embrace, #1) 
Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway. The winner of a copy of Embrace is....


Congrats! I've sent an email, pls respond within 48 hours.:)

Below is an interview with Jessica Shirvington about Love:)

 Falling in Love at 17

I know that love is possible at any age. I met my husband at 17 as well. People are often shocked to hear that we’ve been together that long. We in our 14th year of marriage and though we’ve had challenges, I know we are just meant to be. I knew it then too.
Did you know when you met Matt that he was the “one”?

Yes. I can't explain it, but I knew. In fact, it kind of annoyed me (you might understand!). When you are 17 you don't expect to meet the one. I remember we used to stay up late talking at night about how it was a little frustrating that we had met so early. We almost wished we hadn't met for another couple of years because now that we had, we also knew we had to protect the relationship - and let's face it, it is hard not to stuff things up at that age. We got a lot of things wrong and all the while knew that we wanted forever together.

How did you meet? I met Kevin (my husband) at his “jam” hall. He was the rhythm guitar player in a band and took my heart right away... (can I include an early pic of you and Matt together?)

We were at a mutual friend's house party. It was a rare occurrence for both of us to be out - Matt was an up and coming athlete and trained long hours so didn't go out much and I was usually away in the country on weekends where I worked at an equestrian center. Anyway, I spotted him on his own and somehow dug up to confidence to go and say hi. From there we bumped into each other another couple of times and then ... we started orchestrating bump into one another occasions! 

What challenges have you faced and how did you get through them?

Early on, our big challenges came from our own sabotage attempts. We tested each other and pushed the limits. I think most people do. We were also quick to move in together and that probably put undue strain on the relationship. We actually broke up twice - the second time for 6 months. When we got back together after that, we knew we were never going to risk going through that again. 

What made you decide to write a book about Angels and Mythology?

Originally, it was more about writing a book about choice and consequence. I wanted to bring an element of otherworldliness into the story and I wanted my heroine to deal with big issues as well as her own. Angels really appealed to me and left me with a wide scope to work with. Once I started researching, I never looked back.

What’s your favourite genre to read? What about Matt’s?

Mine is YA, without a doubt.
Matt isn't a huge fiction reader. He probably prefers biographies and the newspaper.

Any advice you would give your readers who might be experiencing love for the first time?

Follow your heart - and your gut. Dream big but listen to the people around you, who you love and trust. It is easy to fall all-in and get carried away and it is just as easy to walk away from a really good thing. I know I will be forever indebted to my Mum who told me a few home truths one day when I most needed it!


Top Ten Tuesday- Top Ten Dystopian Books You must read!!!!!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fab Broke and the Bookish. Each week we are invited to list our top ten's on a variety of topics. This week's list is an open Top Ten to choose a genre. 

My List: Top Ten Dystopian Novels You Must Read!!!

If you are a follower of my blog, it's no secret that the dystopian genre is one of my absolute favourites. There are so many aspects of it that I love, but if I had to choose one thing that seems to hold true for all of them is the hope expressed in what seems like a hopeless world. The protagonist strives against all odds.  Below is a list of my favourites in no particular order. 

Delirium (Delirium, #1) Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)   

Delirium & Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Divergent (Divergent, #1) Insurgent (Divergent, #2)

Divergent & Insurgent by Veronica Roth

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1) The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)


The Giver (The Giver, #1)

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)  Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Unwind (Unwind, #1)

Unwind by Neal Shusterman (disturbing but amazing)

Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1)

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi 

How I Live Now

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

It's a few more than ten:) How many of the above have you read? Looking forward to seeing everybody's lists!!!



March 12, 2012

Teen Book Review: Pandemonium and an Interview with Best Selling Author Lauren Oliver

I've already posted a review of the incredible Pandemonium sequel to the amazing Delirium, but now that I was able to have Lauren stop by for an interview I just have to post it again.

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Published by Harpercollins February 28 2012
Reviewed from ARC provided by publisher

Summary:
I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, 
pushing aside thoughts of Alex, 
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, 
push, 
push, 

push, 

like Raven taught me to do.

The old life is dead.

But the old Lena is dead too.

I left her beyond a fence,

behind a wall of smoke and flame.



My thoughts:

  It's not often that I like a sequel as much as the first in the series, but Pandemonium is exceptional.  It was more than I hoped it would be. Lena is now in the Wilds....grieving for her loss and trying to survive. We meet a few new characters in this book and out of them all, Raven is my favourite. She's hardened by the life she has been forced to lead, but I really felt she took on a wonderful maternal role in the story and finally Lena had a woman she could connect with even if it wasn't her 'real' mother. I'm not sure how I feel about Julian yet. I need more time to process his role in Lena's life, and I'm not ready to let go of Alex. There were shocking moments in the book that I could not have predicted and of course the last page left me gasping.... (don't read ahead though!!!) 

I've had my copy since Sept, but I waited to read it. I have to admit that I was hesitant to because I loved Delirium so very much. Today was the day I planned to read it with my tea and blanket in my favourite reading chair. I opened the pages and disappeared happy to be within Lena's story. Not her world. Her world scares me I guess as it would anyone, but I felt comforted and settled between the lines of her story like I was visiting a friend. I love Lauren Oliver's writing style. She has a gift with words and I often end up reading paragraphs out loud so I can get the full impact of their meaning. 

"Grief is like sinking, like being buried. I am in water the tawny color of kicked up dirt. Every breath is full of choking. There is nothing to hold on to, no sides, no way to to claw myself up. There is nothing to do but let go."

"That is what hatred is. It will feed you and at the same time turn you to rot. It is hard and deep and angular, a system of blockades. It is everything and total."

I could almost quote the whole book because it is page after page of masterful and vivid writing. I was sad when it ended, and I can not wait for more. Highly Recommended. 

I am so unbelievably excited to be able include the interview with Lauren below. Thanks Lauren XO.



1. Do you write for yourself, for others, to tell the story? Where does your inspiration come from?
I think it’s all three, really. I definitely have to write, for myself, for my sanity, and usually once I have an idea for a book, I can’t stop writing. But I do think, to some extent, about the audience, about trying to connect with an experience that’s somewhat universal.

2. Do you see parts of yourself in Lena? In your other characters?
I think you have to project yourself into all of your major characters—and even some of your minor ones! I’m usually some kind of amalgam of a few characters. In this case, if you took Lena—some of her fears, some of her thoughtfulness, and her ultimately strong center—and smushed it together with some of Hana’s characteristics—her height, her brazen attitude, her desire for fun—you’d get me.

3. Who is an author that impacts you? 
Neil Gaiman! I adore his books.

4. I adored Raven, despite her flaws. Who is your favourite character from  Pandemonium and why?
I loved Raven too. She might be my favorite. I felt for her so badly—she was so hard, because she’d had to become that way. But underneath her many layers, she has been heartbroken, and she has experienced deep loss and sadness. 
(I (Jen) removed question 5 because I thought it might be too spoilery):)
6. Favourite Disney Movie?
The Little Mermaid!
7. Is it true that you put Ketchup on nearly everything?
Yes! Here are some of my favorite things to put ketchup on: toast, pasta, eggs, and any kind of vegetable.

8. Do you have any other books planned in the next year?
I’m working on editing Requiem, the third book in the Delirium series, right now, which will publish in spring 2013. And this fall, I have a book for younger readers (8-12) publishing in the US. It’s called THE SPINDLERS, and it tells the story of a girl, Liza, who must journey into the underworld to rescue her brother’s soul from spider-people. It’s cool and creepy and I’m excited about it!
I for one can not wait for Requiem and The Spindlers sounds fabulous!!

Reviews for Lauren's other books can be found here:   Delirium  and Liesl & Po


I buried her.

March 10, 2012

In My Mailbox - March 10th



In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren
Each week we are invited to post about the books we received via mail, store, library or friend.

One book this week from my wonderful, fabulous Harper Collins fairy.
 It's a special one and one that I shall drop everything to read.


Insurgent by the amazing Veronica Roth 
Could you hear me shouting with joy when I opened the package?

My review of Divergent

What was in your mailbox?

March 8, 2012

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington -Giveaway

Embrace (Embrace, #1)

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington
Published March 6th 2012 by SourceBooks Fire

Summary:

It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are…” 

Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before. 

Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her. 

A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden… 

Look for the sequels ENTICED in September 2012 and EMBLAZE in March 2013!

As part of the blog tour, below is a post from Jessica about falling in love at 17. I know that love is possible at any age. I met my husband at 17 as well. People are often shocked to hear that we've been together that long. We're in our 14th year of marriage and though we've had challenges, I know we are just meant to be. I knew it then too.

Here's Jessica's post:

Falling in Love at 17
Falling in love is easy. Staying in love … more complicated.

At 17, life is about new experiences. It is about self-discovery, friends, adventure, mistakes, career and university choices. And let’s be honest, there are not many 17 year olds out there that aren’t interested in falling in love.

But how many are truly interested in falling in love with THE ONE at 17?

I’m not sure I was. In fact, I probably wasn’t. I was planning to take the world by storm – solo. So when I met Matt, well, actually … it was pretty darn amazing. But it was a little frightening too.

When we first got together, it was sweet and young and … perfect. I was head over heels. But things became complicated quickly. He was an up and coming athletic star and I was working in hospitality. So basically he worked hard in the day, and I worked hard at night. His lifestyle demanded routine and healthy living, mine … not so much. But we were determined to make it work.

Falling in love so deeply at a young age made it difficult to be as reckless as our friends. We watched them coast in and out of short, fun, but meaningless relationships and it just seemed so different to what we had.

Writing the Embrace series has been an opportunity for me to pour some of the incredibly intense emotions of young love into Violet’s story. It has been important for me as a writer, and a person, to recognize that it’s completely realistic for someone at her young age to experience the full effect and heartbreak of love. Violet is one hundred percent invested with her heart. She makes bad choices, but we have to. She regrets many of her decisions, because we all do. And she fights for what she loves, because she is compelled to. Violet’s story is unique to her, I don’t pull on parallel scenarios from my own life, but I do pull on the emotion of intense love. Love that I think adults sometimes forget that 17 and 18 years-olds are very capable of feeling.

I often find one question helps a lot of adults, who maybe disagree with this view, to be more open minded: Do you remember you first true love? Do you ever wonder what your life would’ve been like if you had stayed together? For some, the answer is a resounding NOT INTERESTED, but for others … the pause says it all.

Matt and I celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary in March - I believe jewelry is in order ;)

To read more about Jessica and her books http://www.jessicashirvington.com/

I have one copy of Embrace to give away. 
Open to Canada and US, Age 13+
Winner will be chosen at random on March 12th 2012. Winner will be contacted by email and has 48hrs to respond before an alternate winner will be chosen.
Let's keep it simple. Answer the following questions in the comments to enter. 

Do you believe in love at first sight? Why or why not?

March 3, 2012

In My Mailbox-March 3rd 2012

 

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren
Each week we are invited to post about the books we received via mail, store, library or friend.

I haven't done an IMM post since early January so there are quite a few books listed below.


Signed copies of The Night Circus and Virgin Cure as well as 
Thank you Random House!!!!


Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral
Thank you Penguin Fairy:) I've already read this one....review coming this week.


I am a HUGE fan of picture books by Jan Thomas, I picked up a copy of The Easter Bunny's Assistant


Of Poseidon by Anne Banks (Raincoast)
Ru by Kim Thuy & a signed copy of The Paris Wife (Random House)
Pure by Julianna Baggot (Hatchette)
The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting (I AM SO HAPPY) & 
The Grave Robber's Apprentice by Allan Stratton (Harpercollins)


Gilt by Katherine Longshore, No Safety in Numbers by by Dayna Lorentz, My Life in Black & White by Natasha Friend, Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys & The Catastrophic History of You & Me by Jess Rothenberg (Penguin)

Thank you so much Penguin, HarperCollins, Hatchette, Raincoast and Random House!

What did you get in your mailbox?

March 2, 2012

Book Review: Dead to You by Lisa McMann (Guest Post)

Dead to You

Dead To You by Lisa McMann
Published by Simon Pulse February 2012

Summary:

Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It's a miracle... at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together. But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable.

Guest:

Donna and I met when I worked at the library near the high school where she taught. She was kind enough to let me join the high school book club she began and we partnered running the meetings. I instantly felt a connection with her as she loves YA as much as I do and is such a wonderfully, kind and genuine person. She is also tons of fun to be with and we have the same sense of humour. I'm so happy that even though we no longer "work" together, she's become a very dear friend. 

Her Thoughts:

This novel left me reeling. Fast-paced from start to finish, Lisa McMann has written another super page-turner. This story is about a teenaged boy, abducted at the age of seven, who, after nine years, is returned to his family. The book opens at the very moment when a Child Youth Worker hands Ethan back over to the care of his family. Thrilled to have him back, the de Wildes try to help Ethan transition back into their lives. During his absence, his younger brother, Blake and brand new sister, Gracie have filled the void for his parents, Paul and Maria. Ethan, used to living on the streets, struggles to follow their household's routines and structure, and works to fit into family mealtimes, school and counselling. 

This story is told entirely from the perspective of Ethan. As the reader follows his story, they come to empathize with his uncertainty and frustration at his lack of memories of his life before he was taken. Ethan does not want to talk about his life on the road and seems almost protective of the woman who raised him. As his neighbourhood (and one beautiful girl named Cami) welcome him home, Ethan faces anger and jealousy from his brother, who is the only person to be suspicious of him. The conflict between brothers worsens as Ethan begins to build relationships with his sister and parents. The final portion of the novel was very cleverly written. As Ethan finally begins to see a hopeful future, a shocking twist is revealed that changes everything. 

I enjoyed this book and recommend it to readers who like surprises! It would be an ideal novel for discussion and book talks.

Thanks Donna!!!