Saturday, March 31, 2012

New Middle Grade Series: Club CSI

Being a long-time CSI fan myself, this announcement has me so excited! A middle grade mystery series with forensics mixed in?! I'm so there. Pre-order, please. :)

From Publishers Weekly:

S&S Launches Series Based on 'CSI' TV Show
By Sally Lodge
Simon & Schuster has announced the debut of Club CSI, a middle-grade chapter book series inspired by the CBS TV series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Licensed through an agreement with CBS Consumer Products, Club CSI features a crew of students who band together to solve crimes and capers at their Las Vegas junior high school. The inaugural titles in the series, which is published under the Simon Spotlight imprint, are The Case of the Mystery Meat Loaf and The Case of the Missing Moola by Dave Lewman, due April 24 in simultaneous hardcover and paperback editions.

Viewed worldwide and scoring an average weekly audience of 12.83 million viewers in the U.S. alone, CSI has been the number one scripted TV show for a total of six seasons since its 2000 debut. Though the TV series is aimed at an adult audience, its forensic science theme is of growing interest to middle graders, observes Kara Sargent, editorial director of Simon Spotlight. “Forensic science is cropping up in seventh- and eight-grade school curricula, and kids that age are increasingly interested in the subject,” she says. “It’s such an exciting career path and one that is hot for young adults. So we decided that this would be a fun opportunity to create a book series under the umbrella of the CSI franchise.”

Read the full article here!

Additional books in the Club CSI series:
   The Case of the Disappearing Dogs is scheduled for release on July 24, 2012.
   The Case of the Ruined Ram is scheduled for release on August 28, 2012.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Freebies: March 30, 2012

Click on each title to go to the Amazon Kindle edition listing. Be sure to double-check the price before you download!

In His Eyes Anthology
by multiple authors

Available as: Kindle edition
Pages: 165
Publisher: unknown
Publication date: February 14, 2012
Suggested tags: young adult, romance, short stories

From Goodreads:
"Sixteen original short stories, all from the point of view of our favorite male characters - some are old flames from our novels and some were dreamed up especially for this anthology.

Let these imminently crushable, swoon-worthy guys show you what romance looks like – in his eyes.

The contributors to IN HIS EYES include award winners, frequent “Top 100” placers, and hot 2011 debut authors.

Surprise, Surprise by Stacey Wallace Benefiel, author of Glimpse: Half the women in Melody's family can see the future, which makes it nearly impossible for Raleigh to surprise her. What's a guy to do for Valentine's Day when his girlfriend is always one step ahead of him?

First Kiss or First Kill? by C.K. Bryant, author of Bound: Love isn't always rainbows and kittens, sometimes it can be downright deadly. (A deleted chapter from Bound.)

Shattered by Ali Cross, author of Become: James and Desi use each other in an effort to cling to the darkness in each of them, but in the end they discover that love changes you. (A chapter of Become from James’ POV.)

Before by Jessie Harrell, author of Destined: When a younger Eros is exiled to a land that doesn't believe in the Greek gods, he finds the first love of his immortal life. Read Eros' first person account of his romance, and heartbreak, in the time before he met Psyche.

The Qualm Before the Storm by Karen Amanda Hooper, author of Tangled Tides. Yara Jones doesn’t want to be a mermaid. Treygan doesn’t want to be the monster who turns her. You can’t always get what you want. (A short prequel to Tangled Tides.)

Unspeakable by S.R. Johannes, author of Untraceable: When Mo sees a strange girl in the woods, he follows her. He soon realizes they are both in a dangerous position and might not get out alive.

In the Beginning by Katie Klein, author of Cross My Heart: Seth is falling hard for Genesis Green, but the guardian angel is determined not to interfere, until an accident changes the course of their lives forever. (A short prequel to The Guardian.)

A Chance Encounter by Cheri Lasota, author of Artemis Rising: Finnian's eyes hide a terrible secret. But a girl on the train home, the girl in tears with a secret of her own...She sees right through him. A scene from the upcoming novel, Echoes in the Glass.

Family Bonds by Heather McCorkle, author of The Secret of Spruce Knoll: A Halloween party filled with teens who can channel energy and use it to kill, what could go wrong? For Spruce Knoll fans who are dying to read more about Fane.

Getting Closer by Lisa Nowak, author of Running Wide Open: Megan is smart, hot, and an upperclassman—in other words, way out of Cody’s league. So why did she choose him? (An excerpt of Getting Sideways.)

Precalculus by Cory Putman Oakes, author of The Veil: a re-telling of the fateful class period that changed Addison Russell’s life, from Luc’s point of view (a.k.a. Chapter 2 of The Veil from Luc’s perspective)

The Almost Assassin by Laura Pauling, author of A Spy Like Me, releasing Spring 2012: Malcolm tries his hand at the family business but his conscience and a beautiful "spy" may be his downfall.

Mind Games by Susan Kaye Quinn, author of Open Minds: Raf wants to take Kira—the only girl in school who doesn’t read minds—to the mindware Games, but his friends have other plans. (A short prequel to Open Minds.)

By The Firelight by Elle Strauss, author of Clockwise: When Nate McKenzie asks an unpopular girl to dance on a dare, he's in for the time of his life.

A Very Alien Valentine’s Day by Magan Vernon, author of How To Date An Alien: After surviving confinement and an intergalactic war for his human half, Alex, now he has to live through the biggest challenge of them all: Valentine's Day.

Aligned by RaShelle Workman, author of Exiled: A half-Eternal boy and an Eternal girl must free millions of tortured souls from a creature whose been feasting on their pain and suffering."

by Jennifer Laurens

Available as: paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 254 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Grove Creek Publishing
Publication date: February 9, 2011
Suggested tags: young adult, contemporary, romance

From Goodreads:
"Obsessed with keeping his society-princess daughter safe--and his--Charles hires his daughter's childhood enemy to be her bodyguard. He never imagines that Ashlyn would fall in love with Colin."

by Angie McCullagh

Available as: Kindle edition
Pages: 214
Publisher: unknown
Publication date: January 27, 2012
Suggested tags: young adult, realistic fiction

From Amazon:
"At six feet tall, Emily Lucas towers over the "normals" in her Seattle high school. When she discovers, thanks to a pediatric endocrinologist and his X-ray machine, that she’s still growing and will likely hit six foot three, she struggles with her inability to blend.

Emily blames her MIA, giantess mother, Marilyn, for her excessive height and embarks on a mom-quest to find her. She wants to unravel why Marilyn left and learn how to operate as a super-sized person in the world. So begins a journey that leads Emily to Arizona to meet her birth mother.

Then there's Emily's ex-best-friend-gone-wild, Trix. She has an attitude that won’t quit, two non-parents who don’t take care of her as much as she takes care of them, and a tendency to hook up with too many guys in her search for acceptance.

When she finds out she has a chance to graduate early and study her passion–fashion design–at The Art Institute, she realizes she needs to pull herself out of her downward spiral and focus on her goal. Can she get it together and earn herself a better life or is she too far gone?

Emily and Trix, who have grown apart but whose lives still wind around each other like helices, work separately to figure out how to fit into a world that doesn't much like girls who can't, or won't, conform to what's ordinary.

by Callie Kingston

Available as: paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 232 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Carolwood Press
Publication date: January 1, 2012
Suggested tags: young adult, contemporary

From Goodreads:
"Marissa is nearly eighteen and can't wait to leave behind her traumatic past. With long time boyfriend Drake, she thinks she has her future all figured out--until she discovers his betrayal. She flees to a desolate beach on the wild Oregon coast hoping to escape her pain, where, overcome with emotional and physical exhaustion, she dozes off beside a log. When the first icy waves strike her, it is too late: a rogue wave drags her out to sea.

Somehow she survives, and now each night she dreams of a creature who rescues her. Determined to discover the truth, her obsession deepens until she once again risks her life in the frigid ocean. Will the creature Marissa seeks save her? Will she be lost forever in the eddies of her mind, or will Jim, her new boyfriend, keep her from drowning in the abyss?

UNDERTOW is a contemporary novel in which a young woman finds a terrible choice thrust upon her: overcome the pain in her past and the dangers which lurk in her mind, or succumb to these and be lost forever inside a beautiful dream.

Friday Finds #7

Friday Finds is hosted by Should Be Reading. Each Friday, you share the great books you heard about or discovered over the past week: "books you were told about, books you discovered while browsing blogs/bookstores online, or books that you actually purchased."

by Heather Burch

Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 287
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Publication date: January 17, 2012
Suggested tags: young adult, paranormal, angels

First in the Halflings series. From Goodreads:
"After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with.

A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

by Keira Lea

Available as: Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 168
Publisher: Keira Lea Books
Publication date: April 12, 2011
Suggested tags: young adult, paranormal

From Goodreads:
"Kelsee Lewis has a new school, a prima donna best friend, and one week to write a hit play. Throw in a self-obsessed mom and an absent executive dad, and it’s no wonder she has panic attacks—complete with time-warp special effects. When Kelsee meets comic book maven Quinn, she realizes the attacks give her the ability to rewind time.

Replaying life seems like the best way to erase mistakes. But will second chances leave Kelsee flailing in the orchestra pit alone?

by Rhiannon Held

Available as: paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 320
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Release date: June 5, 2012
Suggested tags: young adult, paranormal, werewolves

From Goodreads:
"Andrew Dare is a werewolf. He’s the enforcer for the Roanoke pack, and responsible for capturing or killing any Were intruders in Roanoke’s territory. But the lone Were he’s tracking doesn’t smell or act like anyone he’s ever encountered. And when he catches her, it doesn’t get any better. She’s beautiful, she’s crazy, and someone has tortured her by injecting silver into her veins. She says her name is Silver, and that she’s lost her wild self and can’t shift any more.

The packs in North America have a live-and-let-live attitude, and try not to overlap with each other. But Silver represents a terrible threat to every Were on the continent.

Andrew and Silver will join forces to track down this menace while discovering their own power and their passion for each other.

The Voyage of Patience Goodspeed
by Heather Vogel Frederick

Available as: hardcover, paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 224
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date: July 28, 2002
Suggested tags: middle grade, adventure, historical fiction, 19th century

From Goodreads:
"October 1835. Patience Goodspeed, almost thirteen years old, departs from Nantucket aboard her father's whaling ship. Between kitchen duty and whale blubber stench, this voyage is far from a pleasure cruise. At least Papa lets Patience assist the ship's navigator since she's so good at calculations. But the smooth sailing doesn't last long. Mutinous mates maroon most of the crew, including Patience's father and brother, on a deserted island. Can Patience rescue everyone before it's too late?"

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Change in Plans: Middle Grade & Young Adult

After much consideration, I have decided to limit my blog to Middle Grade & Young Adult books from now on.

I really do like books of all different genres. But I love Middle Grade & YA. When I read an adult book, I usually enjoy it, but I'm also usually looking forward to that YA book that's next on my to-read list, or counting the books left to go until I get to that Middle Grade read. I love adult historical fiction, but I love YA historical fiction even more. And I love adult mysteries, but I love Middle Grade mysteries even more. And finally I thought... shouldn't I read and review what I really want to read and review?

So I'm going to change things up a little. The news and reviews posted here on the Book Nook are going to be limited to Middle Grade & YA. I will absolutely still be honoring my commitments to review the adult books I've won from Goodreads First Reads, but the reviews won't appear here on my blog. (The same goes for the adult books that I've already requested from NetGalley, although those reviews will appear on my blog, since they agreed to let me read them essentially because I have a blog.)

I'm really excited that my blog and reviews will now be focused on the books that I most love to read. I hope you enjoy the new and improved Book Nook as well! :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Heart YA Carnival #8: You Oughta Be In Pictures

Suze Reese
The I Heart YA Carnival is hosted by Suze Reese, author of the ExtraNormal series. Each Tuesday, a blog prompt will be posted about a topic related to the YA genre. Click the button to learn how to join in!

This week's prompt is: In honor of this week's release of Hunger Games, and the frenzy it has caused, I figured it would be a good time to talk about Books Being Made Into Movies. ... Do you love book remakes? Hate them? Is there one coming up you can't wait to see? Or something you're wishing would be made? Maybe you have one you just want to chat about. The field's wide open this week!

I was able to go see the Hunger Games movie this weekend, and since books-made-into-movies tend to disappoint me, I was a little apprehensive. But I really liked it! Most of the characters looked or at least acted like I had pictured them in my head. I LOVED Cinna, Haymitch, and Caesar. They were EXACTLY how I pictured them. That happens to me so rarely!

The only thing that disappointed me was there wasn't a lot of time spent on the other Tributes; there were a few scenes in training, and then all of a sudden they were in the arena and I still didn't know who was who. I know in the books they weren't all named, but I even had trouble identifying the main Tributes like Clove and Cato. I know things had to be condensed for the movie, but I just needed a little more time to learn who was who before the game started.

I hope we don't have to wait too long for the next movie... I'm ready to go see it right now!

For the most part, I liked the Harry Potter movies too. (I can't remember which movie it was, but there was one where I got VERY frustrated over what I thought were significant
things in the book that were left out, while things that were not in the book and that I thought were insignificant were added in.) The Twilight movies - I wasn't such a fan of those, but then I'm not a big fan of the books anyway.

What I would like to see as a movie is Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. (I know, I know, I'm bringing up that book again. But really. It's THAT good.) I mean, check this out - and that's only a trailer for the book! I have heard rumors that a movie is in the works, possibly involving Tim Burton's peculiar talents... so we'll see, I suppose. :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

New Release Round-Up: March 26-April 1, 2012

Young Adult

Fair Coin
by E.C. Myers

Release date: March 27, 2012
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 250
Publisher: Pyr
Suggested tags: young adult, paranormal, science fiction

First in the Coin series. From Goodreads:
"Sixteen-year-old Ephraim Scott is horrified when he comes home from school and finds his mother unconscious at the kitchen table, clutching a bottle of pills. The reason for her suicide attempt is even more disturbing: she thought she’d identified Ephraim’s body at the hospital that day.

Among his dead double’s belongings, Ephraim finds a strange coin—a coin that grants wishes when he flips it. With a flick of his thumb, he can turn his alcoholic mother into a model parent and catch the eye of the girl he’s liked since second grade. But the coin doesn’t always change things for the better. And a bad flip can destroy other people’s lives as easily as it rebuilds his own.

The coin could give Ephraim everything he’s ever wanted—if he learns to control its power before his luck runs out.

Sisters of Glass
by Stephanie Hemphill

Release date: March 27, 2012
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 160
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Suggested tags: young adult, historical fiction

From Goodreads:
"Maria is the younger daughter of an esteemed family on the island of Murano, the traditional home for Venetian glassmakers. Though she longs to be a glassblower herself, glassblowing is not for daughters—that is her brother's work. Maria has only one duty to perform for her family: before her father died, he insisted that she be married into the nobility, even though her older sister, Giovanna, should rightfully have that role. Not only is Giovanna older, she's prettier, more graceful, and everyone loves her.

Maria would like nothing more than to allow her beautiful sister, who is far more able and willing to attract a noble husband, to take over this role for her. But they cannot circumvent their father's wishes. And when a new young glassblower arrives to help the family business and Maria finds herself drawn to him, the web of conflicting emotions grows even more tangled.

by Jill Hathaway

Release date: March 27, 2012
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 256
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Suggested tags: young adult, paranormal, mystery

First in the Slide series. From Goodreads:
"Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

Other YA new releases for this week:

Middle Grade

The False Prince
by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Release date: April 1, 2012
Available as: hardcover, ebook, audiobook
Pages: 342
Publisher: Scholastic
Suggested tags: middle grade, fantasy

From Goodreads:
"In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point—he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.

Other Middle Grade new releases for this week:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox: March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren as a way to highlight the books you receive every week (or so). A full explanation and rules can be found here.

From NetGalley:

Death by Petticoat: American History Myths Debunked
by Mary Miley Theobald

Available as: paperback
Pages: 144
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Release date: June 5, 2012
Suggested tags: non-fiction, history

I have such a weakness for books about American history. The quirky little facts in the description had me clicking "request" on NetGalley before I could think twice!

From Goodreads:
"Every day stories from American history that are not true are repeated in museums and classrooms across the country. Some are outright fabrications; others contain a kernel of truth that has been embellished over the years. Collaborating with The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Mary Miley Theobald has uncovered the truth behind many widely repeated myth-understandings in our history in Death by Petticoat including:

* Hat makers really were driven mad. They were poisoned by the mercury used in making hats from furs. Their symptoms included hallucinations, tremors, and twitching, which looked like insanity to people of the 17th and 18th centuries--and the phrase "mad as a hatter" came about.

* The idea that portrait painters gave discounts if their subjects posed with one hand inside the vest (so they didn't have to paint fingers and leading to the saying that something "costs an arm and a leg") is strictly myth. It isn't likely that Napoleon, King George III, or George Washington were concerned about getting a discount from their portrait painters.

Pregnant women secluded themselves indoors, uneven stairs were made to trip up burglars, people bathed once a year, women had tiny waists, apprenticeships lasted seven years--
Death by Petticoat reveals the truth about these hysterical historical myth-understandings."

by Marley Gibson

Available as: paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 395
Publisher: Graphia
Release date: April 3, 2012
Suggested tags: young adult, realistic fiction

I read a lot of books by Lurlene McDaniel when I was younger, and from the description Radiate seems to have a similar feeling. I'm really looking forward to reading this one.

From Goodreads:
"Hayley Matthews is determined to be the best cheerleader she can. She works hard and pushes herself 110% all the time. Then Hayley finds a lump on her leg. The diagnosis is cancer. The prognosis is unclear. She could lose her leg. Or maybe her life. At first Haley is scared, terrified. In an instant, everything she’s worked for seems out of reach. But Haley is strong. She’s going to fight this disease. She will not let it take her life or her dreams."

From the bookstore:

The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story
by Mary Downing Hahn

Available as: hardcover, paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 144
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: April 20, 1989
Suggested tags: middle grade, paranormal, ghosts

I mentioned in another post that this was my favorite book in my younger days and that I needed to find a copy for myself. Guess what - I found it! (And for only $5!) This totally made my week! :)

From Goodreads:
"When Ashley discovers a turn-of-the-century doll it is just the first of several puzzling events that lead her through the hedge and into a twilight past where she meets Louise, an ailing child whose beloved doll has mysteriously disappeared."

Saturday, March 24, 2012

New Adult Discoveries

I was really intrigued when I learned about the New Adult genre, which covers the college-age part of life between YA and Adult lit. I haven't really heard much about books that are marketed as New Adult, though. The first book (and, until today, the only book) I've come across that actually said it was New Adult was Twenty-Somewhere by Kristan Hoffman.

From Goodreads:
"Twenty-Somewhere tells the story of three best friends as they navigate life after college. Beautiful and confident Sophie Lin, goody goody aspiring writer Claudia Bradford, and boy-crazy nerd MJ Alexander are ready to take on the Real World -- or so they think.

But MJ's hunky lab supervisor keeps distracting her from her research, and what's worse, she almost doesn't care. After years of single-minded focus, MJ may have lost her passion for science, and her sense of self along with it. Meanwhile Claudia's passion for writing is stronger than ever, but her confidence is drowning in a sea of rejection. Her boyfriend Eli is supposed to be a life preserver; instead he feels like just another wave pulling her under. Last but not least, Sophie decides to swim against the current: she quits her advertising job in pursuit of a more meaningful vocation. Six weeks later, all she has to show for her idealism is a growing stack of unpaid bills.

As their relationships go sour, their careers sputter, and a few too many ethical dilemmas arise, the girls reunite in Paris, desperate for a dose of the one thing they can always count on: each other. But after so much time apart, will that really cure what ails them? Or will their friendship fall apart like everything else in their lives?

But I hadn't come across any New Adult books since I found that one. So I decided to do a little digging on Goodreads today and see what I could find. To my surprise, I already had some New Adult books on my to-read list - I just had them listed as YA. Which makes me wonder if there is some overlap between YA and New Adult (and New Adult and Adult too, I would guess) where books can fall into both genres, or if "YA" is just the default label for New Adult books for now.

I also found a lot of New Adult books I'd never heard of, and my to-read list is now significantly longer. Here are my discoveries - hope you find some goodies here you might want to read too! :)