Library Life: November YA Book Displays

I’ll be the first to admit these November displays are a bit off-the-cuff but they did teach me a bit about the collection along the way.

For my first “mini” display I did a Chilling Reads sign. The vision behind this was to have books that were set in the winter. It turns out we have blessed few books in the collection that are not checked out and set in winter.

IMG_1694This display will probably stay up through December because I am quite taken with the sign and it can have many permutations to fill in with books.

For my bigger display I was totally stumped for what to do until Karyn suggested a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) themed display. I’m not super happy with how it looks (the cover images are too small and I had sub-par tape to work with so you can really tell I was taping paper to a piece of foam core) but I do like the idea and I learned that many YA novels began life as NaNo projects. (In fact the only one on the sign that isn’t a NaNo project is Afterworlds but that one has a huge NaNo tie-in.)

IMG_1696And here’s a close up of the sign:

IMG_1697I am happy with the display in that the books on it have been moving which is, of course, one of the big points. The trivia aspect hasn’t gotten as much traffic but I do still want to have the option on there in some way.

I do plan on changing this out in December when I might do a Dynamic Duos display with some books about BFFs or otherwise great partners with a trivia aspect involving people naming the duo (like Maddie and Verity from Code Name Verity) with some quotes and cover images).

I’m also already looking ahead to January when I plan on having both displays involve books where characters seize the day.

What displays have you used in your library for the month of November?

Illusions of Fate: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten WhiteAlbion is dank and cold; a dreary, grey thing far removed from Jessamin Olea’s tropical island home of Melei. Even the people of Albion are different with their harsh, staid manners and so many of them obsessed with wealth or status.

With her dark hair and skin, Jessa never stood a chance of blending in here–even if she wanted to do such a thing.

No matter the hardships, Jessa knows moving to Albion will be worthwhile once her fancy Alben education is complete and she can use all of her new knowledge to help Melei and its people.

If Jessa hadn’t tried to walk down an alley on her way home from class, that might have been the end of the story. Instead, after a chance encounter with a strange and charming man named Finn Ackerly, Jessa’s life becomes something very different.

Soon Jessa is drawn into a magical power struggle between Finn and the sinister Lord Downpike. Weeks ago Jessa’s biggest concerns were keeping warm and trying to afford her textbooks while staying at the top of her class. Now, as enemies circle, Jessa will have to decide whether to stay on the path that will bring her home to Melei or bind herself further to Finn in Illusions of Fate (2014) by Kiersten White.

White offers a clever and original story here that is a fine historial-esque fantasy set in a well-realized world. With wit and humor aplenty, Illusions of Fate also features a nuanced commentary on what it means to feel and be seen as “other” along with the power that comes from claiming one’s heritage and identity.

Ideas surrounding feminism and imperialism are also handled as thoughtfully as race here. Jessa is a fierce heroine who knows exactly who she is and refuses to compromise that sense of self for anyone. Unapologetic, smart, and more than capable of saving herself, Jessa is sure to appeal to readers of all ages. Finn is her perfect foil as these unlikely allies bring out the best in each other with chemistry that is evident in every banter-filled exchange.

Illusions of Fate is a delightful blend of fantasy and romance with an action-packed plot with more than a few twists. The story builds slowly to reveal a story that is both engaging and thoughtful as Jessa tries to navigate the murky waters of Alben society. Although the ending is rushed in places, readers will finish this book with all of the pieces they need to imagine what other adventures might be in store for this truly wonderful heroine.

Possible Pairings: Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carringer, Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore, The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason, A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey, Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal, A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee, Sabriel by Garth Nix, For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood, Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevemer

Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I’m Excited About

Top Ten Tuesdays img by Miss Print

At first I wasn’t sure I had enough books to talk about in this post. Then I started looking at my TBR shelves and realized that was wildly inaccurate. SO here are some sequels I’m psyched about.

  1. Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman: I am spoiled rotten and have this in my hands (signed) even though it’s not out until March.
  2. The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski: Again because I am spoiled rotten, I have read this already. But I am excited for March when I can get a hard copy to match my beautiful copy of The Winner’s Curse.
  3. Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan: This one has been out for a while but I managed to fall behind with the series. Now that Unmade is out and I own both, I really have no excuse to put off finishing the series!
  4. P. S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han: Is there anyone who isn’t excited about this one? I can’t wait to see what happens to Lara Jean next! Luckily I have Jenny Han’s Summer trilogy in the interim since it’s a series I missed when it first came out!
  5. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater: File under books I should have read 5 years ago.
  6. Black Heart by Holly Black: See above.
  7. Cybele’s Secret by Juliet Marillier: See number five.
  8. Split Second by Kasie West: There’s real no reason for me to not have read it yet. I guess I’m just worried it won’t live up to the first book.
  9. Dearest by Alethea Kontis: I love the Woodcutter books so this is one 2015 release I’m pretty excited about!
  10. Vengeance by Megan Miranda: Like Split Second, I’ve put this book off because I have concerns. And I don’t want Decker and Delaney’s story to be over.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

(Image made by me.)

Week in Review: November 16


This week on the blog you can check out:

This post is actually being written on Tuesday and backdated to Sunday because the weekend got away from me even though I had three days off.

Friday I went to the UPS store, the post office and the pharmacy. I sold books at the Strand. I replaced our old cable modem and returned the old one to the Time Warner store. All while walking around in the cold with a giant suitcase of said books to sell.

Saturday I finished putting up Christmas decorations and going through all of our decorations to get them in order. Which was as exhausting as it sounds.

I also finished Blackfin Sky and Love and Other Perishable Items which were both unexpectedly delightful. I spent Sunday crashed out and Monday (since this is backdated :P) was kind of lousy. I keep forgetting that we’re nearing the year mark for Mom’s surgery and then I look at the calendar. Then I realize why I’m feeling lousy. I don’t know if it’s holdover stress or what exactly. I mean my mom is fine and I know that intellectually. She is actually better than she was an at point last year. Which I also know. Yet still, this shapeless anxiety keeps taking hold as I remember. It’s amazing how even when you get distance from a traumatic event, it can still be right there. It can still feel like yesterday.

I did not get this post or Monday Memories done but I promise I’m going to be better with that. See you all next week (for real).


Synchronized Reading Roundup: Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst

Synchronized Readings are a semi-regular feature The Book Bandit and I will be running together every few months.

This month Nicole and I read Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst.

Here’s a rundown of all the posts I wrote up for the Synchronized Reading:

You can also head over to Nicole’s blog to see her posts:

Synchronized Reading Post #1: Super Powers

Synchronized Readings are a semi-regular feature The Book Bandit and I will be running together every few months.

Our current Synchronized Reading is Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst.

Once we knew that Chasing Power was about a girl with telekinesis and a teleporting boy, Nicole and I knew we wanted to talk about what power we would want for ourselves.

I don’t know if it’s because I am a big fan of fantasy, but I spend a lot of time thinking about which super power I want. Flying is out because I’m afraid of heights. Teleporting could be cool because it would make traveling a lot easier but at the same time I sometimes like the chance to meander or read on my commute (though recently my commute has been getting me down so I have to say this one has become more and more appealing).

But one I come back to more often than most is the ability to control time. I don’t mean time travel because that would be a mess. I don’t really want to stop time on a global scale because that’s just asking for trouble and could lead to being kidnapped by a super villain.

What I really want to do is be able to step out of time. Just leave and be in my own little bubble where I could get stuff done whether that means reading a book or making Christmas gifts or whatever. I’d really like to just take a step back and have time stop for me so no one would notice me missing (and maybe I’d only be gone for a minute or two even if I really step away for a few hours?) so I could get more stuff done.

Thinking about it now I realize this power could lead to problems where I would age prematurely. Perhaps I could just use this power really responsibly? Or maybe as a secondary power I would also not age while stepping out of time?

Obviously there are still a lot things to work if this power ever becomes a reality. For now maybe I should just settle on the power of speed reading?

Actually, forget everything I just said. I recently did a guest post for Andi’s Parallel Time Loop about Pivot Point. And I have to say thinking about Addie’s ability to see how different decisions will change her future, I’m pretty tempted to make that choice. I feel like it could be just as dangerous as controlling time or time travel but I really like the idea of always knowing what’s coming.

What power would you want to have?

Author Interview (#6): Sarah Beth Durst on Chasing Power

Sarah Beth Durst author photoSarah Beth Durst is here today to talk about her latest novel Chasing Power and answer some questions about it. Chasing Power is Sarah’s latest novel for young adults and features a master thief with telekinesis, romance and adventure!

Miss Print (MP): What was the inspiration for Chasing Power?

Sarah Beth Durst (SBD): Telekinesis.

Really, the whole novel started from just that little seed.  I’ve loved telekinesis ever since I was a kid and read The Girl With the Silver Eyes and watched Escape to Witch Mountain.  And the X-Men cartoon on Saturday mornings.  So I wanted to write a story about a girl who could move things with her mind.

My idea for Kayla was that her power would be very, very limited.  She’d only be able to move things as heavy as a piece of paper.  So she’d have to be clever.

MP: How did you decide which places to include in the story?

SBD: I chose places that captured my imagination.  One of the best things about being a writer is that you get to be the ultimate armchair traveler.  I got to explore catacombs and visit the rainforest without ever being far from my refrigerator.

A lot of the places were inspired by National Geographic articles that I’ve read over the years, thus justifying the towering stack of those magazines in the basement.  (They’re just too pretty to throw away!  Okay, yes, I’m a bit of a pack rat…)

MP: You mentioned that the story started with Kayla and her telekinesis. When did you know the story would also include a teleporting boy?

SBD: Pretty early.  Just glanced at my brainstorming notes from when I started working on the novel, and at the end of my first day of brainstorming, there’s a single line: “He’s a teleporter!!!!!!!!!”

Apparently, I brainstorm with lots of punctuation.

MP: Which scene are you especially excited for readers to get to in Chasing Power?

SBD: The whole plot is designed to ramp up.  It starts with a small heist to introduce Kayla and her powers, and then it builds and builds and builds…  Personally, I’m excited for readers to get to Spain.  Had a lot of fun writing that scene.

MP: Can you tell us anything about your next project?

SBD: Yes!  I’m working on a middle-grade novel called THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM.  It’s about a girl whose family owns a secret store where they buy, bottle, and sell dreams, but who can’t have any of her own, and the adventure that she and her pet monster go on when someone starts kidnapping dreamers.

It’s coming out from HMH/Clarion Books in fall 2015, and I’m really, really excited about it!

Thanks so much for interviewing me!

Thanks to Sarah for taking the time to answer my questions!

For more information about Sarah and her books you can also visit her website.

You can also check out our previous interviews discussing Sarah’s other novels Enchanted Ivy and Drink, Slay, Love, Vessel and Conjured and The Lost.

If you want to know more about Chasing Power be sure to check out my  review.