Friday, May 27, 2011

A Goodbye from Severus Snape

Came across this farewell note by Alan Rickman, the actor who has played Professor Snape for the entire Harry Potter series.  It is a touching goodbye that made me feel really sad about the last movie being almost here.  Will you miss the Hogwarts family as much as me?

Snape's Goodbye:
I have just returned from the dubbing studio where I spoke into a microphone as Severus Snape for absolutely the last time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

YA Review: The World is Mine (The Come Up Series)

The World Is Mine (Come Up)The World Is Mine by Lyah B. LeFlore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a great picture of what hip hop youth culture is really like.

If you're tired of reading the stories that glorify only the violence or profane worlds of hip-hop and the urban music scene, then this series may be perfect for you.

Blue Reynolds is a young, hip 17 year-old who doesn't necessarily want to make his mark on the world by attending Howard University and becoming a lawyer the way his father has. He's more interested in the P.Diddy/Berry Gordy school of fine hustling. His best friend Collin, also the son of a lawyer, is feeling that he doesn't want to attend Georgetown and practice law just to please his dad. Together with their friend Whiteboy, a graphic and tattoo artist, the three friends embark on pulling together their own entertainment company, Blue Up.

On the path to stardom in the music scene there are a lot of ups and downs as romance, parental clashes and the struggle to get away from the streets, tries to catch up to them. For Blue, the appeal of being the hottest promoter in DC could lead to making some pretty shady choices in the eyes of his father and his girlfriend Jade. Collin, desperate to please his dad, may be biting off more than he can chew when he decides to helm the business end of Blue Up instead of pursuing Georgetown fame. And Whiteboy can't seem to get far enough of way from the violence and gang life that lurks around his growing tattoo business.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Gaming News: LA Noire Is OUT!

I haven't gotten my hands on it yet, but all I'm hearing is amazing reviews and I can't wait to get into this game!!
It looks absolutely breathtaking and from what I hear, the storyline is so well developed that it is almost like playing a movie instead of a game.

Until I can really get into the game itself, why don't you check out the trailer:


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Author Alex Flinn Wages a Beastly arguument for YA Realistic Fiction

Alex Flinn is best known as the author of "Breathing Underwater" and most recently, the Beauty and the Beast spin "Beastly".  In her blog this week, she talks about her disgust for journalists and critics that protest realistic Teen fiction.  Her argument makes TONS of sense, so I thought I'd share a bit of it here. 
So this is the article that's pissing me off today. And the reviews to which it refers, blasting two new dating violence "problem novels" (not meant as a pejorative term, btw, at least not on my part).  It is something of an annual-or-so tradition that the New York Times (or, occasionally, the Wall Street Journal) will write an article, the subject of which is "Why Are There So Many Dark Novels for Teens . . . Lock Up Your Babies!"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Funny Video Finds: Marcell The Shell With Shoes On


To Read: Christian YA Fiction

Prime Choice by Stephanie Perry Moore - With college football recruiters checking him out, grades to be proud of, and a gorgeous girlfriend, Perry Sky has every reason to believe that his Senior year is going to be awesome. His relationship with his girlfriend, Tori would be awesome as well, if he could convince her to take their relationship to the next level. The one snag in Perry's plan? He and Tori's commitment to God. Will Perry's desire to do what feels good tamper his judgment in doing what feels right?

Preacher's Kids by Keleigh Crigler Hadley - The stereotype says that PK's or Preacher's Kids are usually the exact opposite of what their parents preach, but is that really true? Mia Griffin believes that she would be considered a normal teen if it weren't for the constant scrutiny attached to her being a PK. Follow her as she encounters everyday challenges under the microscopic lens of her parent's lives.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

YA Review: Hot Girl by Dream Jordan

Hot GirlHot Girl by Dream Jordan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the first ten pages I knew I would love this book.
Kate is not your average girl from Bed-Stuy. Well, maybe she is, but her past may be decorated a bit more colorfully than most. She is starting on her 14th summer all alone, with a new foster family, a burning crush on her homeboy Charles, and without the guidance of her best friend Felicia who is spending her summer in Africa. Kate is all set to hold things down solo and slowly press up on Charles when in steps Naleejah, a fly girl from around the way who is all about the fast cars, fast boys, and fast life.

Naleejah takes one look at Kate's "bummy" appearance and painfully obvious crush, and then latches herself on as Kate's new best friend. Eventhough Naleejah laces her with a fresh hairdo and eye-catching new clothes, Kate's street smarts tell her that this new "friend" isn't all she says she is and that her "all that" life isn't all that its cracked up to be either. First of all, Naleejah is far too friendly with the boys, jumping into cars with men she's just met, and proclaiming that men are who get her all her fly gear. Then there's the all-talk part of her that Kate can see right through. Finally, the way she presses up on Charles, rubs Kate the wrong way. Pretty soon, Kate has to decide whether being a good new friend has its limits.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

YA Review: Plan B by Charnan Simon

Plan B (Surviving Southside)Plan B by Charnan Simon

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Before I tell you what I did like about this book, let me first say that if you've ever watched a really good episode of Degrassi, or MTV True Life:I'm a Pregnant Teen, etc., then you've already read this book.
It played out sooo seamlessly predictable that it was hard to take it seriously at first. I mean really, Luke and Lucy?!? That's the best you could come up with?

But anyway, what I did like about the book was that for all of its predictability, there were some classy touches that put small twists on the usual pregnant teenager story.

Tween Read Review: A Whole Nother Story

In a very Lemony Snicket-ish manner, Dr. Cuthbert Soup introduces us to the Cheeseman family. I would share their names here but unfortunately, they change quite often! You see the Cheesemans are on the run from a few top secret agencies because of Mr.Cheeseman's invention, the LVR, an unfinished time machine. To keep himself and his three children, hairless psychic dog, and sock puppet friend safe, Cheeseman has taught his family to be ready to relocate at a moment's notice. There is never quite enough time to make new friends, join clubs, or just be comfortable because each time they do, the agents catch up to them. These same agents are responsible for the death of Mrs. Cheeseman, so the family knows there is no end to what they'll do to get their hands on the LVR.

I rather enjoyed this book once I got into it. I began the audio version first, and though the voice work is great, it was hard to keep up with the different special agents and groups. Getting the book in print version made it much easier to follow. The dry wit and ironic humor was familiar and very entertaining. Each secret agency has sent out a quirky set of agents on the Cheeseman trail, all with their own unique(and hilarious) behavior.

The Cheeseman's are a sweet family, and quite funny!


Graphic Review: Tales From The Crypt Series

I'm impressed.  I don't get impressed easily, so let's let that tell you how much I liked this series.  They are short reads, so I was able to get about five under my belt this week alone.  The crypt-keeper and his friends have been out of print since the 50's, but gained a HUGE following in the 90's when HBO brought them to the small screen.  I was pretty young when the series came out and so I didn't much like being grossed out so much.  LOL  Now, I'm game for quite a bit of gore.

This series is a great reintroduction to the franchise.  Like I said before, many horror books are good for trying to be scary and missing the mark.  These are not those at all.  I was totally freaked out! 

The horrifics are spruced up a notch because they tie in to very real themes:
  • There's the story of the slumlord who lets his tenant freeze to death.
  • The crooner who summons a demon to help him win Idol.
  • The backwards story of the real "paradise" suicide bombers may wind up in.
  • The poor chap who lets his online persona mix a little too closely with his real life.
These stories were frightfully believable and I found myself unable to stop turning the pages.  The comics employ different drawing styles for each story and the pictures work seamlessly with the tales, which may seem like a common sense feat, but is one that many graphic novels fail to accomplish. 

As for the humor and puns, which is also a great staple in Tales from the Crypt history, it is there as well.  As I suspected, the Diary of a Stinky Dead Kid parody was adorably ghoulish, and that volume also had a pretty awesome Twilight spoof called Dielight. 

There aren't any over-the-top sexual themes or the like, but I'm sure there are some that probably find the books to be gruesome or racy due to the murder scenes.   However, the redeeming quality of these stories is very much like that of classic folktales.  The "victims" in these stories are always vindicated and the bad guys always get their comeuppance.  I really did enjoy this series and will be adding it to my horror files.  I believe they will draw in tons of readers who like chills and thrills.
 Check out the series website at:


Sunday, May 15, 2011

The New Teen Room is finished!

It took about six months or so, but the library has finally finished updating and renovating the former meeting room in the lower level into a fully-functioning (and quite attractive) Teen Room. The Teen Advisory Board and Youth Services librarians did an amazing job decorating and designing it, don't you think?  Now teens will have their own space in the library for computers, materials and even gaming.  The entire space now has a cafe feel, with a really cool color scheme and brand new furniture. The grand opening party was yesterday and I hear it turned out great. Although this project was underway and pretty much complete long before I got a job here, I can't wait to get involved in getting it running!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

To-Read: Tales From The Crypt Series

So, I have my mixed emotions about spooky reads.  Sometimes they can be pretty lame attempts at actual horror.  This series, however, has gotten some pretty good reviews from what I've seen.  I haven't tried any of them yet, but I plan to take a look at them this week and see what all the fuss is about.
What is attracting me to it right now, is number #8, Diary of a Stinky Dead Kid which is a parody of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and number #9 Wickeder which is a parody of the book/play Wicked.  I hope these tales are chilling enough to make me like the whole series.