Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Artichoke's Heart

Rosemary Goode, who works at her mother's busy beauty shop in Tennessee, is fifteen and a half years old, nearly weighs two hundred pounds, and doesn't have a boyfriend. Her only friends are the candy bars she snacks on and the food that her mother tries to hide from her, and she is one lonely, self-conscious fat girl, afraid of the popular Bluebirds who mock her and call her "Artichoke" behind her back. Even Christmas this year for the funny and witty obese teen is a total disappointment (just like everything else in her life): "Santa" (aka her tough mother and obnoxious aunt) brings only an un-used treadmill and tickets to "The Fat Girl Within" conference. 
   But the day after Christmas, everything changes. After a showdown in the salon, Rosemary realizes that she is sick and tired of being known as "the town fat girl" and is suddenly determined to lose most of her 203 pounds and turn away from her food obsession-for good. Luckily, with the help of a new, reliable friend she can count on and a fresh romance with a boy who doesn't care if she's heavy or skinny, her goal isn't too far away...But when her mother (who is not very close to Rosemary at all), is diagnosed with a rare type of cancer, will Rosemary be able to keep her goal in these tough times? Or will she turn back to food? 
   Sincerely and beautifully written with true emotions and wit, Artichoke's Heart is now on top of my list of favorite summer reads. Readers ages 13-17 will delight in reading Suzanne Supplee's beautiful novel, packed with feeling and Southern charm. If I could eat this delicious novel, I would (and I bet it would taste great!). (: 
(Also, doesn't the cover look yummy?)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Susanna Sees Stars

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! When ordinary, overweight, celebrity-obsessed, fifteen-year-old Susanna Barringer uses her wit and writing skills to snag herself a coveted internship at the stylish Scene magazine, she thinks she's the luckiest girl in the world. After all, her dreams of becoming a celebrity reporter might come true after one fateful summer. Soon, she'll be chatting it up with Reese, Drew, Jen, Brad, and Angelina, going to glittering parties, and walking the red carpet. Right? Not so fast. Instead of hitting the carpet, Susanna's stuck in a stuffy office building with a moody and insecure editor who treats her like trash, going on coffee runs, being criticized, being trapped with a snotty coworker in the Fashion closet, and getting framed as a celebrity stalker. Whatever happened to champagne and fancy shoes and celebrity get-togethers? Just when Susanna's thinking her summer has completely gone down the toilet, she gets a brilliant idea that could help her make it to the top.....or break it. Can Susanna think of the perfect way to save her summer and make her coworkers think of her as not just an intern?
  Mary Hogan's fun teen novel is a great summer read. Susanna is such a lovable and sweet character, and I could just picture the New York City skyline and all of Susanna's crazy escapades as I turned page after page after page. You won't be able to put this fab book down!
Recommended for ages 12-15.
  PS. Which cover do you prefer? British (top) or American (right?) I think the British one is super-eye catching and stylish, but I sorta have a thing for the paper doll-style cutouts on the US cover. Opinions, please!

Alive and Well in Prague, New York

Matisse Osgood is not exactly thrilled when she finds out that, due to her father's need of relaxation because of his severe case of Parkison's disease, she is being uprooted from stylish New York City, the capital of style and sophistication and plunked down into hick town of Prague, NY, where the biggest sources of excitement are hayrides and Czech Day. City girl Matisse all but fits in at her new high school with her big-city opinions and secrets that she wants no one to ever find out, which could be hard when her mother is trying to act like everything is "just fine" and arrange Matisse's social life. While nasty rumors about Matisse and her family spread around the school faster than a virus, Matisse finds loyal friends who she can relate to and tell everything to safely. Combine that with the beautiful countryside, some great romance, and a little time of reflection and you've got one compassionate, sincere novel for YAs by up-and-coming new author Daphne Grab!
   I absolutely adored reading this beautifully-written novel. I loved Matisse's character, and how you could really get into her head and relate to her through Grab's writing. All in all, I'd recommend this fantastic and charming novel to anyone I know older than 12 years old. I can't wait to see what's next from this seemingly-talented author!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Confessions of a Teen Nanny

Sixteen-year-old, plain-jane Adrienne Lewis has an ordinary life that suddenly turns extraordinary when her best friend snags her a job at the home of a snooty billionaire. That's right, she's hired as a nanny for child genius Emma Warner. At eight years old, she can translate books from French to English, loves watching Oprah, and takes AP Calculus. But that's not all she can do-she's also fired the previous five nannies that her mother had hired. Can Adrienne manage to hang on despite a few disasters? It might be hard when Emma's wild-child, party-girl sister, Cameron, is always hanging around trying to steal Adrienne's boyfriend...and her sanity! From the glittery streets of Manhattan to hot beaches of Palm Beach, Florida, this kick-butt chick lit will keep you flipping those pages!
   Grab this book by Victoria Ashton and head to the beach if you want a guilt-free, light, and funny summer read. I can't wait for the next novel, Rich Girls!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cicada Summer

Lily Mathis, age twelve, has kept quiet for two whole years, ever since a tragedy struck her family. Lily's good at keeping secrets, especially ones that hurt. But this summer, a cicada summer, in Olena, Illinois, is going to be different. Along with the cicadas comes trouble-making, lying Tinny, whom Lily despises. It's going to be a lot harder to keep her dark secrets because Tinny knows them and will stop at nothing to find out what really happened in Lily's past. But then a mysterious stranger shows up in town, and a few nights later, Tinny goes missing. It's up to Lily to find her-and possibly save her from a terrible fate, even though Lily can't stand Tinny. Can Lily use all those tips from the Nany Drew books she's read to save Tinny's life? And at the same time, will she be able to confront what happened two years ago to her beloved brother?
   Well-written by author Andrea Beaty with flashbacks that make the simple plot much more interesting, Cicada Summer makes a great read for younger bookworms. I found this novel very slow and almost boring at the start, but it eventually sped up towards the end, climaxing and concluding with a perfect ending! Recommended for readers in grades 4-6. 

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Dizzy's mother hasn't visited her in eight years, leaving Dizzy with her artist father and his girlfriend in the gray city of Birmingham. Every year on her birthday, Dizzy eagerly awaits a message from her mother: a postcard, or a present from her ever-traveling mum's latest destination. But, this year, on Dizzy's twelfth birthday, there's a big surprise waiting for her. Yes, Dizzy's very own mother, a New Age hippie named Storm, who takes Dizzy, her bags and her guitar, into her pink patchwork van that's headed towards adventure. Mother and daughter travel on the British festival circuit, meeting lively characters that include handsome, friendly Finn and secretive, angry little Mouse and his mangy dog, Leggit. Along the way, Dizzy discovers surprises, fun, a little romance, danger, and a whole lot of life-changing experiences... 
   Cathy Cassidy's first novel is magical, bright, different, and concludes with a perfectly satisfying ending, leaving readers begging for more. After reading Dizzy, I'm craving more of Cathy's brilliant writing. Dizzy is now definitely at the top of my "Favorites" list!

Friday, July 11, 2008

How I Saved My Father's Life (And Ruined Everything Else)

Twelve-year-old ballerina Madeline has a normal family that lives in a normal house. They're not rich, but they're happy and love each other: her mom, her dad, Madeline, and her little brother, Cody. But then Madeline's whole life changes when her writer father takes a new assignment: writing about his heli-skiing experience to-be in Idaho. That's when Madeline performs a miracle, rescuing her father from a deadly avalanche and saving his life. Once her father comes home, he divorces Madeline's mother, writes a bestselling book, starts to get thousands of fans, marries a woman who is known for making famous tarts named Ava Pomme, and has a new child with her, all of which Madeline blames her mother for. After all, how can a girl on the road to sainthood concentrate on holy matters when her mother is a weepy mess, stumbling around the kitchen and making gross dishes for her food column in Family magazine? Then a new friend, a once in a lifetime trip to bella Italy, and a new perspective of things come along, and Madeline slowly learns that sometimes the small things in life (like parents, friends, and a religion that you have faith in) are miracles all by themselves.
  Author Ann Hood writes with sincerity in this sweet, engrossing, and touching novel about religion, faith, and family. Readers ages 10 and up will be happy to indulge!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Clique: It's Not Easy Being Mean

Ehmagawd! The Clique (Massie, Dylan, Alicia, Kristen, and-yes-Claire) is finally back at OCD after a treacherous three weeks of expulsion, and are as fabulous as ever! This time, they're on a quest for a key: not just any key, either. The key that will lead to the famed legendary room of eighth-grade paradise. Current eighth-grade alpha Skye Hamilton is passing down the key now that it's almost the end of the year, and Massie is sure that if the Clique gets the key, they'll keep their alpha positions next year. If only they could find it (supposedly stashed under the bed of one of the Briarwood boys-but who?) before an LBR does, or else it's bye-bye popularity...But what if Claire isn't even there next year to celebrate the room with the rest of her pals (if they ever get the key!)? Yes, after Claire's Hollywood debut in Dial L For Loser, she's on high demand. But if a lead role means giving up her newfound popularity, friends, and super-sweet crush, Cam, she's not sure if she wants to follow her dreams as an actress (especially when it calls for an ah-mazingly ugly makeover!). 
   The seventh book in the wildly popular Clique series by Lisi Harrison is just as sweet, fresh, fun, and well-written as the previous! I absolutely ah-dore these fabulous summer reads, and girls ages 11 and up will, too.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Oh. My. Gods

Title: Oh.My.Gods
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Pages: 272 (hardcover), 288 (paperback)
Published: Dutton, May 2008
Recommended!/Not recommended
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Mythology/Fantasy
Cover Rating: A
Overall Score: A-
    Phoebe Castro has always loved to run. When she runs, she can feel her deceased father by her side, and she has no problems. So that's why she wants to commit her life to her sport. She even has her whole future planned out: after graduating from high school, she'll be going to USC on scholarship. After that, she'll be a famous runner. But her life suddenly changes when her mom shows up with a new man on her arm, announcing that they're getting married and moving to his home, the tiny, isolated island of Serfopoula in Greece. Phoebe thinks all is lost: what about college? What about her best friends? The only good part of moving is that she'll be far away from her ex, Jerky Justin
. But once in Greece, Phoebe's got a whole lots of surprises in store for her: a stepsister from Hell who wants to make Phoebe's life miserable, and a huge secret about her school: all the students are descendants of the Greek gods, including her stepfather himself! But not all is lost: Phoebe manages to make some friends and some enemies (including the very good looking boy on cross country team...), as well as finding out a secret about herself that she didn't know was possible...Can Phoebe follow her dreams as an athlete, even though she's thousands of miles away from her home? Will she be able to fit in at her new school? With a little romance, lots of magic, and some fun, that might just be possible...
   My thoughts: What an awesome, well-written, and clever debut from a talented author! The second I heard about Oh.My.Gods, I knew I would have to read it and betted that I would love it (I'm a total sucker for original plotlines, so this one was like my birthday and Christmas combined!). The writing was simple and understandable, so readers will never get lost in the plot, unlike other complicated stories that I've read in the past.
   Just the utter creativity blew my mind. I love, love, loved the story: a school for ancestors of ancient Greek gods? It was perfect. Pheobe herself was a spunky kick-butt protagonist with a great voice, and the book was fast-paced, having me whipping through pages madly until the awesome ending. Before I get too gushy here, I'll conclude. (:
   Overall, Oh.My.Gods (love that title, don't you?) was a stellar debut, a fun read perfect for the beach or summer. I look forward to reading the sequel, Goddess Boot Camp, coming out in June 2009!

PS. Which cover do you prefer? Hardcover (top) or paperback (above, right)? My vote's in for the hardcover, with the awesome Greek statue and running shoes! (:

Monday, July 7, 2008

Likely Story Contest!!!!!!

Yay! It's my first contest, and I'm sooo excited! I'll be giving away one (1) copy (yes, an ARC) of David Van Etten's Likely Story (review coming soon!). Here's what you have to do to enter: just simply leave a comment here by August 1, 2008 saying that you want to enter. If you want an additional entry, put a link to this contest on your blog. To let me know that you've "qualified" for a second entry, just put another comment here (Bookworm Readers) with a link to your blog! Good luck!

PS. While you're at it, check out another fun contest at And Another Book Read: it looks super!

Interview with Fabulous Fashionista (and author) Lisa Barham!

Hello Readers! Check out the interview that I conducted with Lisa Barham, author of The Fashion-Forward Adventures of Imogene as she tells us about her latest book, what's next for Imogene, and fashion! Thank you for the great interview, Lisa! (:

Bookworm: Why did you want to write A Girl Like Moi?
Lisa: The initial spark of my idea was humor. In my neck of the woods, it's not uncommon to see preteen/teen girls walking around with $2,000 Chanel bags. Girls today are faced with so much temptation, and are so plugged in and are such voracious consumers of everything from designer clothing to computers, communication, travel, electronics, music, and entertainment. All this while straddling two worlds: the world of high school and childhood, and that of the grown up workaday world yet to come, and the struggle for how to keep true to one's self amid all the pressure and noise out there. Mix into that a yearning for fame, stardom, notoriety, or whatever you want to call it. To me, that was all such a good backdrop for conflict and storytelling. It was so easy for me to see characters dropped into that crazy life.

Bookworm: How many books are you planning to write in the series?
Lisa: So far, there are three. The third book in the series, Accidentally Fabulous, is due out next month (August 26).

Bookworm: What's next for Imogene?
Lisa: She and Evie are going to be stirring up plenty of trouble in Accidentally Fabulous at L.A. fashion week.

Bookworm: What was your favorite book to write?
Lisa: I love them all, but A Girl Like Moi is closest to my heart. It being the first book in the series, I paid closer attention to exposing the things that make Imogene tick--her deepest desires and dreams for herself, as well as her flaw, foibles, and life conflicts--the things that have been holding her back.

Bookworm: Who is your favorite character?
Lisa: I suppose it's Imogene. Mostly because she has the most to deal with. Her parents are by no means well-off. Yet she is surrounded by great wealth. She's the one "have-not" in a town full of "haves". Additionally, she doesn't always have the best judgement. But despite all the wrong turns, stumbles, and mistakes she makes, she learns from them. And she knows, despite her insecurities--the insecurities that all girls her age face--she is driven. And completely optimistic. She knows that it's only a matter of time before she makes her mark on the world.

Bookworm: Which character are you most like?
Lisa: Imogene's mom!

Bookworm: Who is your favorite fashion designer?
Lisa: OMG-I love them all...just like Imogene. Lately, I'm especially loving everything from Rodarte. And I go into a complete frenzy at fashion week. (My heart beats faster just thinking about it!) And I have an obsession with great accessories--from hats, to gloves, to belts and bags, to shoes.

Bookworm: Why did you choose to write about fashion?
Lisa: Having graduated from F.I.T., in New York City, I began my career in the fashion business. I moved from buying and merchandising to fashion forecasting where I began my writing career--as NYC editor I covered the NYC Collections, and everything about fashion in New York. Along the way, I was exposed to a number of very colorful characters and situations. I guess Imogene had been cooking all that time.

To read a review of Lisa's first book, A Girl Like Moi, click here.
Watch out for the review of the second book, Project Paris, coming soon! And be sure to check out Lisa's latest book in the Imogene series, Accidentally Fabulous, coming into bookstores on August 26!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bras and Broomsticks

Rachel Weinstein, age 14, is just an average high schooler (well, as average as you can be when you're flat-chested and socially challenged). All she needs is a little popularity, some friends, and a boy (hopefully a cute one) to take her to the Spring Fling dance, and she'll be perfectly satisfied. But her world is turned upside down when she finds out that her quiet, vegetarian little sister, Miri, is a witch. And that's not all: her mother is, too! Rachel and Miri alike are thrilled when they hear that Miri has the power to conjure up spells. For Rachel, magic could be her key to popularity (and a date to the dance)! As well as this, Miri's powers can also be used to stop the ceremony that will wed the girls' dad to their evil new stepmother and her whiny daughter. But what if all the spells go wrong...? 
   Author Sarah Mlynowski has created a hilarious, kick-butt novel for teenage girls. Readers will love Rachel's spunky voice and will be rooting for the sisters throughout the novel. 

Frogs and French Kisses

In this sweet and funny sequel to Bras and Broomsticks (by Sarah Mlynowski), Rachel discovers that it's hard being the only normal one in a family of witches. Her mom and sister are witches, so why can't she be one, too? While her little sister is trying to use magic to save the world, and her mom is trying to conjure up a date, Rachel is trying to manuever her way through high school, and possibly even get her crush, Raf, to like her. And then there's the Prom coming up, and one of Miri's distastrous spells might just ruin that, too! Combine that with a love spell gone wrong and a heart-stopping crush, and Rachel's up to her shoulders in pandemonium! Can Rachel save the dance and her date? And can there be such a thing as too much magic?
   Don't let the funky title throw you off! I totally adored this book, it had me cracking up from page one. Rachel is so witty and sincere; readers will really be able to relate to her. Recommended for girls in grades 8 and up.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Spells and Sleeping Bags

Rachel Weinstein, witch-in-training, is back in the third book of the fabulous Magic in Manhattan series by Sarah Mlynowski. This time, Rachel, Miri, and their oversized spell book A2 (disguised as a pencil case) are headed off to Camp Wood Lake for a summer of canoeing, color war, sailing, bug juice, sleeping under the stars, hikes, and hopefully a little romance between Rachel and her to-die-for crush, Raf. But it's not all fun and games when the bus pulls up: Rachel's magic seriously needs some work (you could say it is out-of-control: why else would she get rid of all of her clothes and made her super-cute bikini see-through?), her stepmom is sending her gross care packages (not to mention embarrassing! You try opening a package of feminine hygiene products in front of your new bunkmates and friends!), she gets stung by a zillion bees, nearly gets knocked out by a soccer ball, Miri is mad at her, and one of her bunkmates is very evil who wants to ruin Rachel's life (especially in the boyfriend department), and who also has a big secret...
Bookworm absolutely adored this fun and hilarious summer read; I was practically cracking up the whole time I read it. Author Sarah Mlynowski writes with such honesty and spunk that it's hard not to love Rachel! I definitely recommend this fantastic novel to chick-lit enjoying girls ages 13-16. Watch out for reviews of the previous two books, Bras and Broomsticks and Frogs and French Kisses, coming soon!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Two Princesses of Bamarre

Sisters Adelina and Meryl, princesses of the kingdom Bamarre, are more than siblings: they are best friends. Addie, the shy, timid princess depends on Meryl, the bold, adventure-loving, and brave sister for almost everything. And the two sisters love each other more than anything in the world. So when Princess Meryl falls ill under the Gray Death, Addie knows that she can't just sit around and watch her beloved sister die. So, armed with magical items that will aid her on her journey, Addie sets out on a bold adventure, seeking the cure for the Gray Death that could make her sister well again. Along the way, Addie encounters elves, specters, ogres, fairies, dragons, gryphons and more terrible creatures with whom she'll have to have courage and determination to get away from them alive. But time is running out, and if Addie doesn't find the cure, then Princess Meryl will die...
Gail Carson Levine has written another fantasy masterpiece! Readers will eagerly be at the edges of their seats as they flip the pages of this beautifully written, fast-paced novel. A must-read for those who enjoy the genre, ages 8-12.

Princess In Love

The clumsy but lovable Princess Mia is back in this third volume of Meg Cabot's bestselling Princess Diaries series. This time, Mia's life is officially over. Not just because she is a princess, or because her best friend Lilly is crazy, or even because her formal introduction to the country of Genovia is in a few short weeks. No, Mia's life is over because she has a boyfriend. There's nothing wrong with Kenny, but Mia just doesn't like him as much as her "true love", Michael. Unfortunately, Michael seems to be going out with a brainy girl who can clone fruit flies. And then Mia's got finals, the upcoming "Nondenominational" Winter Dance, a scheming fashion-designer of a cousin, her pregnant mother, and, of course, the pressure of being a princess! Can Mia summon up all her courage, break up with Kenny, and tell Michael how she really feels about him? Hopefully, this spunky and hilarious princess will have a royally fabulous happy ending...
Bookworm really enjoyed this book. Although it is slow at first, the plot picks up over time and ends with the best ending yet!

The Finnish Line

   Ski jumper Maureen Clark is thrilled about traveling to Finland with the S.A.S.S. program. There, she'll practice her ski jumping for the famed Lahti Ski Games, study at a local Finnish school, and will (hopefully) be able to escape from her famous skiing father's overbearing shadow. But when she arrives, she's in for a shock. She has to share a room with her host family's snotty daughter, her jumping is way off, and she's having a hard time balancing school with practice. Then Mo's secretive and cute teammate, Leevi Patrin, offers to help her practice her jumps, in exchange for a little publicity. What is there not to like? Skiing, romance, and, hopefully, a lot of improvement just in time for the ski games. Unfortunately, Mo has been told to stay away from Leevi, but once she gets to know him it could be hard...
Readers will enjoy accompanying Mo as she experiences dog sledding, visits an ice hotel, goes snowmobiling, makes new friends, sees real reindeer, and more, all written colorfully by author Linda Gerber. Does Mo have what it takes to win? And will she go against her host family to pursue her crush?

Flirt #5: Issues

Summer is over, which means that this year's Flirt magazine interns (Melanie, Kiyoko, Olivia, Alexa, Charlotte, and Gen) are headed home. But just when they think that their exciting jobs are permanently over, they get a big surprise: their strict boss, Ms. Bishop, calls them back for another exclusive year of interning at the magazine! The girls are thrilled-but their renewed jobs aren't all fun and games: there are still deadlines, competition, mistakes, and pressure, as well as trouble outside of the magazine in the forms of parents, homesickness, schools, jobs, and more. And can the girls get their acts together in time for the big launch of the new Flirt website?
Although Issues was a fun and easy read, Bookworm thought that it was too much like the previous four in the series, with a very similar plotline. But that's no reason not to check it out! Have no fear: there is more city fun, fashion tips, and pleasurable reading awaiting in the fifth Flirt book!

Camp Confidential: Golden Girls

Summer at Camp Lakeview has never been hotter! This year, Color War is right around the corner, causing some not-so-welcome problems in bunk 5A. First of all, sports-deprived Tori is elected captain of the Blue team, and she's absolutely clueless about competitions! As well as struggling with trying to coach a group of rowdy girls, she's afraid to let them down. Can Blue come out on top, and will Tori find her inner coach in time?
Also, Tori's supposedly-best friend, Natalie, begins to hang out with the most popular kids in the sixth division group, leaving Tori in the dust for her new friend and boyfriend. Tori knows that something's up with Natalie's new "friends", but will she risk losing her own friendship with Nat if she tries to protect her? More drama, cookouts, team spirit, boys, friends, and camp fun is jam-packed into Golden Girls, the 16th book of Melissa J. Morgan's Camp Confidential series!

A Girl Like Moi

Imogene, a sixteen year old Greenwich style-magnet lives for fashion: Prada, Lanvin, Dior...You name it and she has it in her closet. So she's pretty thrilled about going to fashionable Paris for the summer with her best friend (and future clothing designer) Evie. But there's bad news ahead-after a fiasco at McDonald's and credit card issues, Imogene is banned from going to Paris. Instead, she's going to spend her summer quite differently: instead of lounging around Barneys, Imogene has to do the unthinkable-get a job. Just when Imogene thinks that her summer is going down the drain, she finds her perfect job: an internship at the trendiest, famous international fashion forecasting agency, Hautelaw, smack-dab in the middle of New York City. Now Imogene's checking out the latest trends, eating at the most chic restaurants in the city, hanging out with supermodels, going to the hottest fashion shows and discussing styles with famous designers. Unfortunately, Imogene's job might be threatened by the distraction of a very cute (and fashionable) Italian boy who might just like Imogene back, an evil coworker who will stop at nothing to make Imogene look bad, and deadlines. Will Imogene follow her dream? And what does she really want to do with her life? 
   This book was simply smashing. It was delightful, quick, and tremendously well-written. If you want a light, easy, and fashion-forward summer read, then A Girl Like Moi is the perfect match! Bookworm can't wait to see what's next from Lisa Barham!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Summer Update!

Hello Readers!
This summer, I'm introducing something new: I, Bookworm, am going to try to read 50 books! (So far, there's only 7 or 8 read, but I think I can do it, do you?)
Also, look out for reviews of the following books coming soon on Bookworm Readers!
- Golden Girls by Melissa J Morgan
- A Girl Like Moi by Lisa Barham
- Flirt #5: Issues by Nicole Clarke
- The Finnish Line by Linda Gerber
- Princess in Love by Meg Cabot
   As well as this, I have ARCs of Catwalk, My New Best Friend, Confessions of a Serial Kisser, Madapple, Likely Story, Hot Mess, and I So Don't Do Mysteries that I'll read and review ASAP so you can get a sneak peek of this late summer and fall's new books!
Happy reading!

The Clique: Dial L for Loser

Ever since the girls of the Clique (Massie, Dylan, Alicia, Kristen, and-finally-Claire) got kicked out of OCD, it's been pure bliss: shopping all day, no stupid tests, and plenty of time to hang out at Starbuck's at the mall. But after a while, it's getting old, and the demi-divas are ready for some excitement. So when it comes in the form of plane tickets to Hollywood to audition for the newest blockbuster, the girls are more than ready. The Clique is headed to Tinseltown! But when the fabulous five arrive, they're in for a big surprise, especially Massie: Claire gets cast as the lead, and suddenly she's famous! The no-longer-a-dork is hanging out with the hottest starlets, getting her pictures in glittery magazines, going to fabulous parties, and spending extra time with a certain silver-screen cutie...Kristen and Dylan are back in Westchester and Alicia's got a new job as backstage reporter for Dylan's mom's show the Daily Grind, but Massie's being the one treated like the loser now! Can Massie win her throne back before Claire steals it completely away? And is Claire's relationship with Cam in grave danger? Dial F for Fabulous! This sixth book in Lisi Harrison's bestselling series could possibly be the best one yet, you won't want to miss it!

My Not-So-Terrible Time at the Hippie Hotel

Tracy Forrester isn't exactly thrilled when her dad announces that she, her little sister, and her big brother are headed off with their dad to Farnsworth House (aka the Hippie Hotel) in Cape Cod for the entire summer. I mean, really-how would you feel if you were stuck in a rickety old house with a bunch of other divorced families who you don't even really know? And how is she supposed to have "fun" when the only other family consists of an angry, punk-loving Goth girl named Beka and her flirtatious mother, Lorraine? But then funloving, sunny California girl Kelsey shows up at Farnsworth House with her dad, and Tracy's summer is turned around with her new friendship, as well as a possible romance after meeting Kevin, the cute blacksmith/actor at Plymouth Plantation. And maybe Tracy's time at the Hippie Hotel won't be so terrible, after all!  This enjoyable light read by Rosemary Graham, filled with summer fun, friendship, and romance, is a must-read for mainly girls in grades 7-10.

Secrets of my Hollywood Life: Family Affairs

Title: Family Affairs
Author: Jen Calonita
Pages: 320
Little, Brown 2008
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Chick-Lit
Recommended to: Girls, 12 and up
Rating: B+

   Kaitlin Burke, sixteen-year-old Hollywood honey, is finally back to the TV show that made her famous, Family Affair, after a hectic summer of shooting her latest upcoming blockbuster, Pretty Young Assassins. But just when Kaitlin thinks that everything is (finally) normal in her life again, she soon finds out that she is very, very wrong. Because that's when newcomer Alexis Holden is cast as Kaitlin and her enemy Skye Mackenzie's new costar, stirring up lots of trouble for the cast of Family Affair... Can Kaitlin keep her boyfriend, Austin, her job, her cool, and maybe even--gasp?--bond with Skye as they discover the real Alexis that lies underneath her sweet exterior? Get ready, because there are red-carpet flubs, dramarama, disastrous driving lessons, and catfights galore ahead!
   Another fab Secrets book by Jen Calonita-yippee! I love getting a peek into Kaitlin's glamorous life of a young starlet: it's fun and exciting, but when I want to go back to the real world, I can. Kaitlin herself is a down-to-earth, realistic character with her own faults. I love the little Hollywood tips Calonita has inserted throughout the story, and how the dialogue is clear, clean, and sometimes funny. 
   Meanwhile, I just didn't think this book had the sparkle of the previous two--it lacked something, but I'm not quite sure what. For brief stretches of the plot, it just seemed a little limp and dry, but quickly picked up again and finished with a flourish. 
   It was certainly not my favorite in the series, but I still can't wait for the fourth Secrets novel, Papparazzi Princess, coming out March 2009--Jen Calonita has a talent for telling fresh, fast-paced, and fun teen novels!

Interview with Sarah Beth Durst!

Hello, Readers! I'm baaaack! Did you miss me? Just kidding. But here's one thing you don't want to miss: an exclusive interview with Sarah Beth Durst, the author of Into the Wild and Out of the Wild!

Bookworm: How does it feel to be a PUBLISHED author? (:
SBD: So very, very awesome. And a little bit surreal. I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. It's the only thing I've ever wanted to be. So this is really a dream come true for me. I love all the little moments: choosing the perfect purple pen to sign books, getting emails from readers, seeing the cover for the first time...

Bookworm: Who are your favorite YA (Young Adult) authors today?
SBD: Good thing you said "authors" plural. It's so hard to choose just one! I love everything by Tamora Pierce, Patricia C. Wrede, Holly Black, Nina Kirki Hoffman...I also adore the Harry Potter books, Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series, amd Diane Duane's Young Wizards series. And then there's newer books like Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George, The Black Tattoo by Sam Enthoven, City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, and Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale...

Bookworm: What inspired you to write Into the Wild and Out of the Wild?
SBD: I have always loved fairy tales. And I used to always wish something magical would happen in my hometown. So the core idea behind Into the Wild and Out of the Wild was: what if fairy-tale characters lived in my hometown? And what if the fairy-tale creatures wanted it back...?

Bookworm: How do you feel about the release of Out of the Wild?
SBD: Excited. Nervous. I really loved writing this book. Not that I didn't enjoy writing Into the Wild -- I did. (Or at least I enjoyed most of it. No one loves writing all the time. I am convinced that every writer goes through a stage where they hate their work-in-progress. But you work through it.) Anyway, writing Out of the Wild was like visiting old friends. And then turning their lives upside down. Very fun. So I'm both excited to share my new book with everyone, and I'm nervous because I want everyone to love it as much as I do.

Bookworm: Why did you want to write a sequel to Into the Wild?
SBD: When I finished Into the Wild, I knew I wanted to write a sequel. I missed the characters, and I wanted to know what happens next.

Bookworm: Which character can you relate to most in your books?
SBD: Gillian (Julie's best friend). She thinks fairy tales are great and is so excited when the Wild (the essence of fairy tales) takes over her town. I'd feel the same way if the Wild took over my town. I'm sure I'd rush right in...and be promptly eaten by a wolf or something.

Bookworm: Who is your favorite character in your books, and why?
SBD: Ooh, that's a tough question. I love them all. Really, I do. I love Julie -- she's way braver and more sensible than I am. And Rapunzel (Zel). I also love Gothel, Julie's grandmother, the wicked witch who really wants to be good despite her innate evil tendencies... And of course Boots, Julie's brother, because I think all books need at least one talking cat...

Bookworm: What is your favorite fairy tale?
SBD: Beauty and the Beast. It's the one fairy tale that's about true love. In Cinderella, they marry after one date. In Sleeping Beauty, she's asleep. In Snow White, she's dead. But in Beauty and the Beast, they spend time together before they fall in love. That feels much more real to me and much more likely to result in a true happily-ever-after.

Bookworm: Are you currently working on any upcoming books?
SBD: Yes! But it's in top-secret stage right now...I can tell you that it will definitely be YA fantasy, and I'm really excited about it!

Well, I for one can't wait to see what's next from one of my favorite authors! And many congratulations to Sarah Beth, whose new book Out of the Wild hit bookstores on June 19!