Monday, September 30, 2013

September Author in the Spotlight Wrap-up + Giveaway

September Author in the Spotlight Wrap-Up + Giveaway

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls Giveaway Ends TONIGHT at midnight.  Hurry up and enter.

The end of September has arrived and I would like to entend my birthday wishes to my niece who turns 17 today.  Happy Birthday Jasmine.  This month has been busy for sure and it didn't help that I came down with bronchitis and had a fever and a horrible cough for over a week.  Thank goodness, I am feeling better.  We have been having beautiful weather here in Minnesota and the leaves have not started turning colors here yet so technically it feels as if Fall has not arrived.  I'm spending a lot of time outside reading and soaking up the sun and enjoyed this month's read, The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls by Julie Schumacher.

If you would like to win a copy of The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls enter here:  The Unbearable Book Club Giveaway.

Please check out my review of The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls.
I love the creativity that Julie Schumacher incorporates in her novel The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls.  The characters are interesting, the plot is stimulating and I felt like an honorary member of the book club.

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls Book Review

Please check out the author interview with Julie Schumacher.
Read the interview to discover the story behind The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls and to find how Julie balances teaching and writing. Julie also shares how she chose what books the girls in her YA novel would read in their "Unbearable book club" and gives us the dish on her newest book.

Julie Schumacher Author Interview

It has been a pleasure to work with Julie Schumacher this month and I would like to thank her for being the September Minnesota Author in the Spotlight.  I met Julie Schumacher at the Twin Cities Book Festival in October, 2012.  I love reading books about book clubs and I love young adult fiction and am so glad I was able to feature Julie on BookSnob.  Please check out Julie's website at

Banned Books Giveaway Winner!

Banned Book Giveaway Winner!!

What banned or challenged book did you read last week?
I read and reviewed a couple of banned books.

I read and reviewed Bless Me, Ultima by Rodolfo Anaya, and it is truly a wonderful book.

I met Ellen Hopkins last week and many of her books including, my favorite, Crank, are banned or challenged often.  Ellen writes gritty fiction based on first hand personal accounts.  If you haven't read her books, you should give her a try.

I also started listening to Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell on audible.  This is such a sweet story and while it has a few swear words, it is pretty tame as books go.  Frankly, it is hard to believe that parents took so much time out of their day to ban Rainbow Rowell from their Minnesota school district.  I am sure they didn't read it because it is such a sweet, endearing love story they would have enjoyed it too.

Announcing the winner of Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is:
Marie H from Kansas.
Congratulations Marie.  I hope you enjoy your new book.

Thanks everyone for visiting this week!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls by Julie Schumacher

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls by Julie Schumacher

Name:  Adrienne Haus
Assignment:  Summer Essay for AP Literature/ English 11.
Objective:  To read five books chosen from the "summer reading list".  Must learn at least twenty new literary terms and include in the paper.
Problems:  Forced to join summer "book club" by mothers.  Why do mothers always want to mess up their daughters lives?

Girls in the Unbearable Book Club:
Adrienne- Hurt her knee and is stuck in town with her knee in a brace. Raised by single mother and has never met her dad.  Easily influenced.

CeeCee-Defies the rules.  Pretty and popular.  Got caught driving without a license.  Won't read the books.  Creates a website for the book club.

Jill- Works at the summer pool selling snacks.  Adopted.  Asian with white parents.  Good head on her shoulders.  The voice of reason.  Needs to socialize more.

Wallis- Loner.  Loves to read and wanted to join the book club.  Lives on the edge of town in the woods.  No one has met her mother.  Odd girl out.  Mysterious.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Essay or thoughts on the book:
I love the creativity that Julie Schumacher incorporates in her novel The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls.  The characters are interesting, the plot is stimulating and I felt like an honorary member of the book club.  I wish I had read all the books they discussed.  I have only read two out of the five books, The Yellow Wallpaper and The Awakening and they are two of my absolute favorite books.  I have big plans to read the other three and don't worry, Schumacher doesn't put any major spoilers in her text to frighten you away.

Each chapter begins with a Vocabulary term from AP Literature and the whole book is Adrienne's summer essay that she turns in, in the Fall.  I really liked how the book was set up and formatted. It is interesting how none of the girls were friends at the beginning of the book and forced into the book club by their mothers.  By the end, the girls lives have been altered dramatically as well as their mothers lives.  Change is in the air.  Just goes to show you the power of a good story and the transformative powers of a book club, even one, you don't want to belong to.

I love reading books about books and book clubs.  
Are you in a Book Club?  

Friday, September 27, 2013


Hey Everyone, It's Blog Fest!

Yay it is time to celebrate by visiting new blogs and hopefully winning a prize and finding some new, cool blogs to follow.  Thanks for stopping by, this is my 4th time participating in Journey of Books Blog Fest.  Please stop by Cinnamon's blog to find out all the blogs participating as well as for the tracking site.

This week was interesting for me to say the least.  I came down with bronchitis and was coughing
up a storm and now I'm on antibiotics.  I had to stay in bed for 2 days, reading and resting (actually I didn't mind this part, it's the coughing that stunk).  I even snuck out of bed to go meet YA author, Ellen Hopkins and I am so glad I did.  I love meeting authors.  Authors are my rock stars.  Then on Wednesday I celebrated 20 years of marriage with my husband (he actually left to go play bingo) so my daughter and I enjoyed take out from Noodles.  On Thursday we went out for dinner at Stella's Fish Cafe, the food was excellent but now my husband wasn't feeling well and the wind was on the deck was so strong, we had to eat inside.  And then today, I was surprised at work with a dozen red roses.  A wonderful surprise.  So how was your week?

There are a couple of contests happening here at BookSnob so please take a look around and leave a comment if you have time.  I'm giving away 12 dollars gift card to Amazon or another bookstore of your choice in honor of my dozen roses.  (I have never received a dozen red roses before)  Enjoy your weekend.

The next five blogs are:

Coffee, Books and Me
Josie's Haven
Ashley's Bookshelf
J.C. Martin, Fighter Writer
Star Shadow Blog

Contest Rules:
Open Internationally
Ends 9/29 at midnight
Fill out rafflecopter
Good Luck
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ellen Hopkins at Addendum Books

Ellen Hopkins at Addendum Books

So last week I was struck down with a fever and a nasty cough.  Turns out I had bronchitis and I almost missed meeting Ellen Hopkins because I was too sick to go to her first appearance but luckily she stayed overnight in Mpls/St. Paul for a night and went to the Addendum Bookstore close to my home yesterday.  Phew!

I parked my car a few blocks away and as I was walking to the bookstore to meet one of my favorite authors, I ran into a Little Free Library.  I love these little libraries and so I searched for hidden treasures and then happily moved on to the bookstore.

Ellen Hopkins was in town to promote her newest teen book called Smoke.  It is her 12th published book and a sequel to Burned.    She read to the audience out of Smoke and also introduced us to her new character in the book Rumble, that will be released next summer.  My does it sound good.   Rumble is about religious conflict and suicide.  When Ellen finished reading from Rumble she opened up the floor for questions.

We were a very small group of people ranging in age from high school students, to parents and teachers, and everyone asked such great questions.

When Ellen Hopkins writes, she is mainly a character builder and she never writes more than one draft of her books, much to her editors chagrin.
When asked which is her favorite book or character from her novels, Ellen stated she has no favorites.  Crank is her least favorite book because it is so personal.  She does a lot of research for each book and mainly uses primary sources to get at different points of view.  Crank is being adapted for the stage and Ellen is writing the screenplay.  Her new adult novel is called, Tangled and it is a combination of prose and poetry.  It is about being in love with a psychopath.  Ellen Hopkins subject matter is always so interesting.

Out of all Ellen Hopkins books, Crank has been banned or challenged the most.  She is surprised
each time her books are challenged because of a swear word or drug use.  Ellen stated, fear and ignorance is the driving force in book banning.  In the audience was one of the librarians from Anoka-Hennepin district who chose Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell as a summer teen read.  Two parents in the district got the author banned from speaking to students and are trying to get 75 books removed from the district and public libraries as well as demanding the librarians be disciplined for choosing the book.  I felt honored to be in her presence and shook her hand.

When asked what she read in high school, Ellen states, she read Stephen King, Erica Jong and John Irving.  There were hardly any Young Adult book choices when she was in school and she is glad there is a YA genre now.

Ellen wants her readers to always read her author notes and she warns not to skip them as they are integral to the story.

After Q&A, Ellen signed books and took pictures.

I was introduced to Ellen's book by a former student who told me I absolutely needed to read Crank.  I read it and have been hooked on Ellen's poetry  and YA books since.  My favorite has been the Crank trilogy but her other books are really good too.  If you haven't read any of her books, I encourage you to check her out.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Julie Schumacher Author Interview + Giveaway

Julie Schumacher Author Interview + Giveaway

Julie Schumacher is the September, Minnesota Author in the Spotlight here on BookSnob and she has agreed to answer some questions about her new book, The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls.  Read on to discover the story behind The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls and to find how she balances teaching and writing. Julie also shares how she chose what books the girls in her YA novel would read in their "Unbearable book club" and gives us the dish on her newest book.  Read on and enjoy!

Welcome to BookSnob Julie,

1.      Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I grew up in Delaware but have lived in Minnesota for 25 years.  I've got three cats.   I adore raspberries and chocolate.  There is nothing I would rather do than sit on the screen porch and read a good book.

2.      What inspired you to write to The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls?

My editor at Delacorte suggested the idea of a mother-daughter book club novel.  At first I didn't like the idea and told her I wasn't interested; but then I began to think about a book club that none of its members would want to belong to -- and that struck me as a promising way to begin.

3.      Can you tell us why or when you decided to become a writer?

I've always wanted to write and loved to write.  But I credit some of my teachers in high school, who encouraged me and praised my efforts -- which meant a lot.  In college, I worked on the school paper and thought about becoming a journalist; but I soon learned that I only enjoyed writing when I could make things up on my own, instead of reporting the facts.  After that, "becoming a writer" mainly meant that I refused to give up.

4.  Usually an author puts some of his own life experiences in the book.  Did you do    that?

Sure.  Always.  But "experiences" is a broad term.  I remember learning to read when I was young, at first finding that the printed page was just a gray impenetrable block; but gradually the block gave way, and I was *inside* what I was reading, as if I'd walked through a door.  I made that Adrienne's experience in *The Unbearable Book Club.*  Memories and details like that filter their way in to whatever I'm working on.

5.      Do you like to read?  What authors or books influence you?

Looooove to read.  I feel itchy and unsatisfied if I'm not reading or about to read something.  I think every book I love has influenced me -- some in ways I can't point to directly....  And, like Wallis in *The Unbearable Book Club,* I often think about the Rule of 3,000 -- that is, I read a book a week, on average, which is only 50 (approximately) books per year, which over a 60-year adult reading lifespan is only 3,000 books. Horrors!  I was stricken when I did that math.  Only 3,000 books?  That's not nearly enough.

6.      How do carve out time in your day to write when you are busy teaching college?  Are you writing another book?  Can you tell us a little bit about it?

I don't teach during the summer, and I do a lot of writing then.  And I don't watch TV (frankly, I don't know how to work a TV anymore) or download movies, and that opens up some time in the schedule.  Right now, I'm just finishing a novel for adults called *Dear Committee Members,* which is about a very irritable English professor.  It'll be published in late summer 2014.

7.      Have your students read your book?  What is their reaction to having a published author as a Creative Writing teacher?

I think some of my students have read some of my books, but I certainly wouldn't press them to do so.  My main advice to students who want to become writers is that they read widely -- all different types of books and authors -- and read a lot.  Bring a book with you wherever you go.

8.      What is the most important lesson/idea you want readers to take away from your book, The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls?

I don't think in terms of lessons or ideas when I write.  I think in terms of characters and emotions.  I would hope [oops -- sorry about italics here; I don't know where they came from and I can't turn them off] that readers might identify with Adrienne and her feeling of being "formless" or uncertain; or spend time worrying about poor strange little Wallis; or compare notes with the characters in the novel about what it actually feels like to tumble into a book and live inside it.

9.      How did you decide what books the girls would read in their “unbearable book club”?

That was a struggle.  I began with a long list, and I re-read a lot of books, looking for novels that would be able to connect to the lives and experiences of the characters I was creating.  I originally wanted them to read at least 8 books, but the plot became too difficult to manage, so I cut the reading list down.  I considered and cut *The Diary of Anne Frank*, Helen Keller's* My Life*, Edith Wharton's *Ethan Frome,* Toni Morrison's *The Bluest Eye,* and others.

10.  Tell us in one sentence why we should read The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls?

Because it's a funny, snarky novel about reading -- both for bookworms and for those who find bookworms to be unbearable people.

Thanks Julie!

If you would like to win a copy of Julie's book, The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls please click here:  The Unbearable Book Club Giveaway

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
An Audiobook Review

Bless Me, Ultima is the coming of age story of Antonio, and  encompasses the two years of his life when Ultima lives with his family.  Tony is the youngest child in his large New Mexican family.   His mother wants him to grow up and be a priest in the Catholic church and his father wants him to grow up to be a vaquero like his ancestors and belong to the land of his people.

Ultima is getting older and is coming to live with Antonio's family.  She is a healer, a wise woman also called a curandera and she was the midwife present when Antonio was born.  She teaches Tony about the herbs and old ways of his people.  Some people say she is a witch but Ultima seeks to do good things with her magic.   Antonio straddles two worlds, the strong faith of his mother's catholicism and the indigenous ways of his ancestors in which Ultima practices.  Antonio must learn to forge a path that is respectful of each yet he feels he needs to reconcile the teachings of the church with his cultural practices.

"From my mother I had learned that man is of the earth, that his clay feet are part of the ground that nourishes him, and that this is the inextricable mixture that gives man his measure of safety and security. Because man plants in the earth he believes in the miracle of birth, and he provides a home for his family, and he builds a church to preserve his faith and the soul that is bound to his flesh, his clay. But from my father and Ultima I had learned that the greater immortality is in the freedom of man, and that freedom is best nourished by the noble experience of land and air and pure, white sky."

I listened to the audiobook of Bless Me, Ultima and loved it!!  The narrator is easy to listen to and the story is full of action.  Bless Me, Ultima is the kind of story I always want to listen to, the type where my mind couldn't wander away from it even if it wanted to.  There are so many intriguing elements in this story.  There is magical realism, cultural myths, history of the land, tradition and superstition and layers of powerful imagery.  I loved listening to Antonio's dream sequences and knew he was learning about himself and the people he loved.  Truly this book is amazing.

Antonio is searching for his truth and faces some horrific realities.  He witnesses murder and hatred, yet he holds on to his faith and respect for the people and land.  Antonio is wise beyond his years, an old soul.  Bless Me, Ultima is truly a powerful and important book and full of cultural layers.  

Bless Me, Ultima is the first book in a trilogy.  Heart of Aztlan is the second book and Tortuga is the third.  Bless Me, Ultima was recently made into a movie.  Rudolfo Anaya is known as one of the best Chicano authors and Bless Me, Ultima is highly respected and taught in schools around the nation.  It was awarded the book prize, Premio Quinto Sol.  Bless Me, Ultima is also on the list of most commonly challenged books in the United States.  So in honor of Banned Books Week and celebrating your freedom to read, I encourage you to read this powerful book.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

Banned Book Week Giveaway Hop

This year the censorship bullies in Minnesota are hard at work.  The latest banned book controversy struck this week and involves the author Rainbow Rowell and her book Eleanor & Park.

This summer, the Anoka-Hennepin County Librarians chose Eleanor & Park as part of their optional summer "Rock the Read" program.  As part of that program they planned to have Rainbow Rowell speak to teens in the Anoka-Hennepin school district and in the library system.

The Parent Action League objects to the swear words within the book and even took the time to count them.  They have succeeded in banning Rainbow Rowell from both speaking engagements in Anoka-Hennepin county.  They are trying to get all the books removed from the libraries and are calling for the librarians who picked the book to be disciplined.

The irony lies in the fact that Eleanor and Park is a book about bullying and the Parent Action League are taking the role of bullying to heart by making sure no teenager within their county school district can read it.

So in honor of FREEDOM OF SPEECH and the right to choose what you want to read, I am giving
away a copy of Eleanor and Park.  OH and I invited Rainbow Rowell to speak to my students in
Minneapolis.  I hope she accepts.  Fingers crossed.

I guess, censorship bullies don't know that banning a book makes everyone want to read it.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

Contest Rules:
Open Internationally- if you will accept an ebook or if Better World books ships to your country.
Enter by 9/28 at midnight
Good Luck!

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

Ask the Passengers by A. S. King

Astrid has a habit of lying on a picnic table in the backyard and looking up at airplanes and sending out her love to the world.  She employs this strategy when others are making her mad and she sends her love out consciously but silently to others.

She has two friends, Ashley and Justin.  Both have a huge secret Astrid is keeping, and she has her own secret that she isn't sharing.

Her parents are overbearing and her mom cares more about the opinions of others than she does her own daughter.  Astrid is questioning who she is and doesn't want to fit neatly into a box of other people's making.  Is she gay, she doesn't know? Is she straight, she doesn't know that either and other people's impressions, stereotypes, and definitions get in the way of figuring out who she really is.

Astrid lives in small town, Pennsylvania, where no one is gay, everyone is white and Christian and no one ever questions the status quo.  Everyone knows your name and your business so being different is something that doesn't happen.  Yet Astrid and her friends are different.

I fell in love with Ask the Passengers from the very first page.  Astrid is a great character and I love her vulnerability but I also like her honesty.  I am a humanities teacher and Astrid is in a Humanities class where she reads Plato's republic.  Astrid must argue a paradox for her Socrates project and walk down the hall in a toga.  I frankly love the classroom elements and how King is able to weave philosophical paradox's throughout the novel.

I have to say I have recommended Ask the Passengers multiple times since I finished it.  It is hands down the best book I read over the summer.  It is so smartly written and gives me a happy feeling deep inside.  Seriously, it is beautiful and layered with feeling.  You can feel the love emerging right from the turn of the very first page.

I love books that change you and kind of knock you on your head and get you to look at the world a little differently.  Ask the Passengers is that type of book for me.  At times, when I am angry with someone, I find myself thinking about Astrid and then I send them some silent love.  It makes me feel better.  So even though I am not mad at her, I am sending out my love to A.S. King for writing this book and I know that I have another writer to add to my list of favorites.

Readers, I am also sending out my love to you too.  Find yourself a picnic table, look up at the sky and exude an outpouring of love.  Imagine a sign flapping from the back of an airplane saying "Read Ask the Passengers".

Friday, September 13, 2013

Every Day by David Levithan

Every Day by David Levithan

Every day he inhabits or embodies a new person.  Every day he knows that he is a separate being from the one whose body he uses for the day.    Every day he is invisible to the world and visible only to himself.  Every day A wakes up, he or she is 16 years old and beginning a new experience.  Every day is different, unique and never ending.  Will A ever stay in one place and have a normal life?

One day he falls in love with Rhiannon and he meets her when he is inside her boyfriend Justin's body.  The next day he can't stop thinking about her and eventually every new day he thinks of ways to get close to her or near her.  One day when he is in the body of a boy named Nathan, he goes to a party to dance and hangout with Rhiannon.  They talk.  They connect.  He says he is a cousin of a friend.  He leaves the party late and leaves Nathan's body at midnight, sleeping on the side of the road.  Nathan gets awakened by the police and has no recollection of the night's events.  He then discovers A's email account open on his computer and claims to have been possessed by the devil.

Rhiannon then figures out that Nathan lied and wants to know why and every single part of A's being wants to tells her the truth so they can be together.  But how can they be together if he inhabits a different body every day?  Will she think he is insane and how can she even begin to understand A?  Every Day is a indescribable, unique love story.

Leviathan has a crafted a novel that is creative, and full of insight.  I liked how he describes each body and person that A inhabits and gives the reader a little bit of information on how they live their daily life.  He inhabits many different types of people, from druggies, abused, confused to happy, heavy or indifferent, black or white, male or female all of whom are 16 year olds trying to live another day.

Every Day is compelling and inspirational and full of awesome quotes.  Levithan has created awesome characters and the main character, A is just a wonderful, thoughtful, intriguing young adult and accepting of people's differences.  I loved the characters!

My only complaint with the book is the ending.  I really wanted the story to have a nice bow on the ending and I didn't get it.  So I sort of feel like there should be a sequel.  There has to be a sequel.  Come on.  Tell me it is so.

“Sometimes when you hit send, you can imagine the message going straight into the person's heart. But other times, like this time, it feels like the words are merely falling into a well.” 

“I feel the universe is telling me something. And it doesn't even matter if it's true or not. What matters is that I feel it, and believe it.” 
― David LevithanEvery Day

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls Giveaway

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls Giveaway

Julie Schumacher is the September Author in the Spotlight here on Book Snob and she is giving away two copies of her book, The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls to Book Snob followers who live in the U.S. or Canada.  Yay!

Here is the synopsis from GoodReads:

I'm Adrienne Haus, survivor of a mother-daughter book club. Most of us didn't want to join. My mother signed me up because I was stuck at home all summer, with my knee in a brace. CeeCee's parents forced her to join after cancelling her Paris trip because she bashed up their car. The members of "The Unbearable Book Club," CeeCee, Jill, Wallis, and I, were all going into eleventh grade A.P. English. But we weren't friends. We were literary prisoners, sweating, reading classics, and hanging out at the pool. If you want to find out how membership in a book club can end up with a person being dead, you can probably look us up under mother-daughter literary catastrophe. Or open this book and read my essay, which I'll turn in when I go back to school.

Contest Rules:
Fill out the Rafflecopter form.
Must be a resident of the U.S. or Canada
Ends 9/30 at Midnight.
Good Luck!!

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Todd is the youngest boy in a colony of men called Prentisstown.  During the war with the Spackle, all the women died of a disease released by the Spackle, which spurred the Noise that Todd hears in his head.  The Noise is a culmination of all the thoughts and words of the men in Prentisstown including the animals.    It is a never-ending stream of noise that invade your thoughts and consciousness and it is impossible to escape.  The voices of the men of Prentisstown are lonely, depressed and negative and are constantly replaying their stream in the Noise.

 In this world, all animals can talk.  Todd has a dog called Manchee who is constantly talking about squirrels and calling Todd's name.  Todd?

Todd has no memory of what life was like when women were alive.  He believes Prentisstown is the only colony in his world and beyond the swamp there is a vast nothingness.  He is basically illiterate and is about a month shy of turning 13 and becoming a man.

One day while Todd is exploring the swamp, getting a break from the Noise and looking for apples.  He stumbles upon a imposing silence and wonders at the hole in the Noise.  He runs home and tries to hide his thoughts so know one in the town would know about the quiet space, yet as soon as he arrives home the sheriff arrives.  Ben and Cillian, the men who raised him, hand him a map, a backpark with provisions and his mother's book and tell him to leave and never come back.  Todd isn't sure why but he is running for his life with Manchee by his side, when he stumbles upon the hole in the Noise.  The hole turns out to be a girl, a silent girl.  Viola.  Todd and Voila begin a life changing journey together and begin to count on each other in ways they didn't expect.

Patrick Ness is a very creative writer and he has crafted a unique science fiction world in The Knife of Never Letting Go.  The knife is a central character in the book as Todd clings to it for many reasons.  As Todd and Voila journey through New World, each colony they encounter is varied, by landscape, the people and their culture and customs as well as the animals native to the area.  One thing is certain, no one likes the men from Prentisstown.  There are strong themes of war, discrimination, racism, coming of age, abuse, sexism and so much more.

I alternately read The Knife of Never Letting Go in paperback and listened to it on audio. Which is an experience I would recommend.  The text itself is unique because it has to illustrate the noise and also because Todd doesn't know how to spell, so words are misspelled and bolded.  He also swears a bit due to his low vocabulary.  Reading the book is an interesting experience unto itself.  Listening to it, you get to hear the animals talk and the unique words and sounds they make.  Plus the audio gives Todd an accent and the journey, including the intense scenes when they are being chased and hunted down, gives you an errie sort of nervous feeling that I didn't get while reading the paperback.  Although one particular character got on my nerves and was kinda scary,  frankly I thought Aaron would never die because he kept reappearing, like Jason in all the Friday 13th movies.  

The Knife of Never Letting Go is currently being made into a movie.  It is also part of a trilogy that is highly recommended by many people. I mean people seriously say this series is amazing so why not open myself up to an amazing reading experience.   I liked this book enough to continue with the series and since Patrick Ness leaves the reader shaking their heads and demanding answers at the end, I need to find out what happens.  I need to decide to go paperback or audio or both.  Tough decision.  

If I could describe this book in five words, I would say; creative, intense, unique, scary, intriguing.
What a mouthful!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wild Boy Giveaway Winners

Wild Boy Giveaway Winners!

I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of the fall season and back to school time with the kiddos.  Hometown Track, Minnesota Author in the Spotlight, Mary Losure is giving away 2 copies of her narrative non-fiction book, Wild Boy for young adults, to Book Snob followers who live in the U.S.  I am excited to announce the winners of this interesting story about a Wild Boy living in the woods in France.  And the winners are...

Michelle from The True Book Addict Blog

Monika from A Lovely Bookshelf blog

Congratulations Ladies!!

Enjoy your new book.

Here is an excerpt from my book review of Wild Boy:

The story of Wild Boy is fascinating.  I've never heard of children surviving in the wild like this before.  Losure is a great researcher and she does a great job explaining the journey of this boy who is later called Victor.  This is Losure second book of narrative non-fiction and it reads much like a novel.  It is a fast read packed full of historical information.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September Author in the Spotlight

September Author in the Spotlight

Happy September!!  My favorite season is summer because I don't have to work but I also love Fall.  I love the back to school season, the crisp air, the smell of fallen leaves and the colors of the season.  My kids start school on Tuesday and are entering the 7th and 9th grades.  Both are starting new schools and as a parent I am charting new territory and am hoping the kids and I (me especially) can make it through the teenage years.

This month's Author in the Spotlight is Julie Schumacher.  She is the director of the creative writing program at the University of Minnesota.  She has written several books for teens and her latest, The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls promises to be amazing.  I can't wait to read it.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

I'm Adrienne Haus, survivor of a mother-daughter book club. Most of us didn't want to join. My mother signed me up because I was stuck at home all summer, with my knee in a brace. CeeCee's parents forced her to join after cancelling her Paris trip because she bashed up their car. The members of "The Unbearable Book Club," CeeCee, Jill, Wallis, and I, were all going into eleventh grade A.P. English. But we weren't friends. We were literary prisoners, sweating, reading classics, and hanging out at the pool. If you want to find out how membership in a book club can end up with a person being dead, you can probably look us up under mother-daughter literary catastrophe. Or open this book and read my essay, which I'll turn in when I go back to school.

Julie has written six novels for adults and teens and I will try to read more of her books this month, if at all possible.  Julie has written Black Box, The Book of One Hundred Truths, The Chain Letter, Grass Angel and The Body is Water. This month you can expect; a book review, a contest, and an author interview.  Check out Julie's website and all her books at

Have a great month and Happy Reading!