just what it sounds like…reading as a religion

Archive for June, 2010

I Guess the Truth is Out–I’m Actually a Spy, or What I’ve Been Doing Lately

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

So, let’s catch up.  I’ve been a very busy girl-taking summer classes, packing for a visit to my parents and a vacation in Florida, and preparing for and attending the 2010 American  Library Association Conference.  Or, maybe that’s just my cover.  Maybe, I was off doing top-secret spy stuff.  I guess you’ll never know the truth.  Anyways, if you think spies are cool, you should check out the Gallagher Girl Series by Ally Carter.  I’m a little bit obsessed right now.  Cammie Morgan is the daughter of former spies and is now a student at the Gallagher Academy-an all-girl spy school for future CIA agents.  In true spy fashion, I don’t want to give any top secrets away so I’ll give you this:  romance, action, super cool spy gadgets, and awesome spy girls who kick butt!  Plus, they are super funny!  The series, thus far, is:

I’d Tell You I Love You, but Then I’d Have to Kill You

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy

Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover

Number 4 hits stores tomorrow and is called Only the Good Spy Young.  For those of you who have already seen the light and consider yourselves Gallagher Girls, I will tell you that the fourth book does not disappoint.  I was fortunate to meet Ally at the ALA conference today and get a signed copy of the newest book.  Needless to say, I started reading right away and didn’t stop till I was finished.  Now, I’m waiting with bated breath for #5!

Now, on to some other exciting news. Not only did I get a signed copy of Only the Good Spy Young at the conference, I also got close to 50 ARC’s!  ARC’s are advance copies of books that will be published in the coming months and I got a ton of good ones that I will be reviewing here.

Anyway, it’s getting late and I’m off to bed (or maybe a top secret mission)!  Check back soon for the inside scoop on some hot new titles!


Girl on Fire, or Why I Am Now Totally Devoted To Suzanne Collins

Just finished Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins’ sequel to the Hunger Games.  Not wanting to spoil anything for you silly folks who have yet to get interested in this series, all I am going to say is “WOW!”

Getting Graphic Part 1: Welcome to the Black Parade

The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way

In my new series, Getting Graphic, I’m gonna explore the world of graphic novels.  It’s something I’ve been interested in for awhile and a medium that I think is really exciting.  For this first part, I’m sticking with a comic staple—SUPERHEROES!

Title: The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite

Author: Gerard Way

Illustrator: Gabriel Bá

The Whole Picture: In this collection by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, we meet the Umbrella Academy, a futuristic group of superhero orphans raised by a mysterious scientist called The Monacle.  Each of the seven members of the Academy has struggled with figuring out who they are and the life they want to have.  The death of The Monacle brings them all together again as adults where they must deal with the past as they try to save the future.  This motley collection of strange superheroes is both fascinating and slightly disturbing—creating a hero comic for the modern age.  The characters of this book are its most intriguing feature.  Unlike typical heroes, the members of the Umbrella Academy seem to live in the real world where the distinction between good and evil isn’t black and white.  As you read, you will see the psychological depth of these characters and what being ‘super’ does to them as they try to understand what it means to have the powers that they do.  The Umbrella Academy is strange and quirky, but intensely enjoyable.  The characters, unlike any I have ever met, are weird and wonderful and leave the reader begging for the story to be continued.  If you enjoy this book, the series is continued in the 2nd volume, The Umbrella Academy: Dallas, and the forthcoming 3rd volume, The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion.

Slightly Bewitching, or Why I Just Can’t Help But Love Books About Magic

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Let’s just start this off by saying that I love books about magic.  I’ve always been just a little obsessed with magic and dreamed about it being real.

Title: Once a Witch

Author: Carolyn MacCullough

The Story As It Is: Tamsin Greene comes from a family of witches.  Having a Talent is not only common, it is expected.  When Tamsin, who has been foretold to be the most Talented of them all, passes her all-important 8th birthday without any signs of a Talent, she feels left out of her family’s world.  When a handsome stranger comes looking for help and mistakes Tamsin for her Talented older sister Rowena, Tamsin takes the opportunity to prove she belongs.  This simple act will change Tamsin and her family forever, as a centuries old battle of good and evil is reignited.  Having always felt useless in comparison to her Talented family, will Tamsin have what it takes to save them?

The Story As I See It: Tamsin is a really cool heroine.  Unlike most female protagonists, who are often shy and/or somewhat average, Tamsin is tough and edgy.  Wearing thrift store clothes and feeling comfortable around boys, Tamsin is a rock star.  The reader will wish they were friends with Tamsin and could go out in NYC with her and her best friend, Agnes.  As in all underdog stories, I was definitely rooting for Tamsin to succeed–not only in finding her purpose in life, but also in her romance with childhood friend, Gabriel.  Even with her tough exterior, Tamsin is truly loveable and her adventure is dangerous and exciting.  You won’t be able to put the book down as the tension builds.

Verdict: This one is fun and exciting!  The author builds a great magical history and legend that is well-imagined in a modern world.  The end will leave you screaming for a sequel.