Saturday, July 23, 2022

Important Announcement: Moving!

This blog is moving! It can now be found at

I have imported all previous posts & comments. I prefer the way Wordpress works, so I'm moving! Update your bookmarks/links. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Teen Book Review Information

Updated June 2007

This is my book blog, obviously. I'll be posting book reviews and other book-related news, contests, etc. Here's some general information about the Teen Book Review.

Review Copies:
I will accept review copies of middle grade/ YA books or adult books that will be of an interest to teen readers. I will not accept e-books; however, if your book is only available in that form, you may print it out and send it to me. Email me for my mailing address. Of course, sending me a book does not guarantee a good review, or a review within any specific time period (see below for more on that). If I absolutely can't get into it, can't stand it (and I'm sorry, but that happens occasionally. Very rarely, but it does happen.), I can't guarantee a review at all.

Selecting Books:
So many books arrive in my mailbox these days that I can't promise to read and review them quickly. I prefer to read books as they catch my interest from their place on the shelf, because that means I'm in the right mood for that kind of book, and so it'll probably get a better review if I read it when I want to, instead of forcing myself to read it on a deadline when I'm not in the right mood for it. I write for some other websites on a deadline, yes, but I think for this blog it works out better without one. So you see, even if I don't write all of my reviews quickly, it really turns out better for everyone this way!

Reviewing Books:
After I read a book, I write notes down about it, what I'll say in my review. Sometimes, it's quite awhile between reading and reviewing a book, because, well, I do have a life. I wish I could do this all day, but real life doesn't allow it.
Each book gets a rating out of ten, based more on how I feel about the book than any objective criteria. It's my opinion. It's subjective. However, I've read enough that I do have a lot to compare it to, so my opinions are informed!

Posting Reviews:
For each review I post here, and for each I post on another website but not here, there is a link at Also there are links to each of my reading lists for the month, starting in 2007.
Some of my reviews are also found in other places. Quite a few are re-posted on the Internet Book Database. Some are re-posted on Who knows where they'll end up?

As you see, I have links to sites that readers may enjoy in the sidebar. If you have a website about books and you'd like to exchange links, send me a message!

Any other comments, questions, or concerns? Email me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Harry Potter: No Spoilers!

As some of you may have heard, there has been a breach in Harry Potter security. According to various sources (I just searched on Google News and read some articles), some books were shipped out early to readers. Supposedly some of the seventh book has ended up online, although it is unclear as to whether or not it's real. Apparently one newspaper also posted an early review which gives away the meaning of "deathly hallows," along with some other bits of information THAT SHOULD BE SECRET!

As much as I might be a bit tempted to see how it ends, I would rather wait until Saturday to find out after reading the whole thing, and I am very disappointed that some people have tried to ruin that. I talked to a friend who accidentally read part of what is supposedly book seven when browsing through a friend's wall on facebook.

I don't want to know yet unless the whole book shows up on my doorstep (which, it won't, because I didn't preorder one, but reserved one for the midnight party at the local bookstore). My internet activity is going to be pretty limited for the next few days to make sure I don't accidentally read something I don't want to, and I talked to one friend who is refusing to go online at all until she's read the whole thing!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Harry Potter: Books vs. Movies

You know I love the Harry Potter books. I don't think JK Rowling is the greatest writer ever, but she does a great job with the wonderfully complex and exciting plot of the Harry Potter books.

The movies, however, are another story. I have seen all of them within the first week. It was not, however, until the fourth one that I learned to really like them.

They are nothing like the books. Of course, they have to cut a lot of stuff out to fit these books into 150-minute movies, but I often disagree with their editing decisions, not in the least because I have friends who have not read the books, only seen the movies, and there are parts that they don't understand because of it. One friend who I saw the fifth movie with didn't understand about banning Weasley products because it was not fully explained what the Weasley twins had been doing.

However, once you stop comparing them to the books (but keep in mind what you already know about the story as it will fill in the gaps nicely), the movies are really quite good. The action and special effects are exciting. The casting was done fairly well, and the actors do their parts nicely (I was especially pleased with Luna Lovegood in the fifth movie!).

Strictly as movies, they're pretty good (if maybe a bit confusing). Compared to the books, however....Not quite so much. What do you think?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Interesting Links

I thought I'd share a few things I've found interesting recently.

Two interviews with author Zoe Trope: Here and Here. I haven't read her book, as I just got interested in it from the interviews, which I really enjoyed! I'll definitely post a review when I do get a copy and read it. (Read them in order as the first interview tells more about who she is and about her book).

an interesting article about how people don't see children's writers as being on the same level as those who write for adults.

Galley Gallery has pictures of authors with their books!

And this one isn't exactly book-related but it is kind of cool. On Blingo, you can use the google-powered search and they pick random searchers to win prizes, from a $5 Amazon gift certificate to a new car! I was kind of skeptical but I know people who have actually won things. And if you win that Amazon gift certificate you can buy a book, so it is book-related!

Harry Potter: Thoughts On Characters

As I've been rereading the books, I've been thinking about the various characters, both those that I love and those I love to hate. Here are a few thoughts.

Harry Potter: Yes, I know he's the protagonist. I'm supposed to love him. He's the hero, after all. However, I've always found him to be kind of annoying. He's stupid and whiny. Especially in book five (although they didn't show that as much in the movie). I love JK Rowling, but I hate Harry Potter.

Fred & George Weasley: These two are pretty much interchangeable. They are not real characters; just comic relief. They say funny things, but are not developed as actual people. I love them anyway, I just wish we knew them better!

Lee Jordan: Here's another one I wish we saw more of. I've always enjoyed what little bit of him is in the books (his quidditch commentaries are hilarious!), but he's barely there. More Lee Jordan would be nice!

Luna Lovegood: She's good for a bit of comic relief, too, but she's also a real character, or more real than Fred and George, at least. I quite enjoy her eccentricity!

Sirius Black: I was a bit teary when he died. He's always been one of the more interesting characters, that's for sure. Actually, that whole generation seems more interesting than the current one (Lily, James, Sirius, etc.). I'd like to see a prequel about them, but I don't think that's going to happen. Anyway, Sirius has always been a favorite of mine. He is much more interesting than many of the main characters, and I don't really think whiny Harry deserves him as a godfather.

Dumbledore: I know it's a bit blasphemous these days, but I'm not a big Dumbledore fan. Sure, he was a great wizard and all, but not the greatest guy ever. Especially in the more recent books, he kind of bothered me. I can't put my finger on why. But I wasn't too upset when he died (I don't think that's a spoiler anymore with book seven so close).

That's it for now. Anyone care to share their own thoughts about the characters?

Tell An Author You Care

I love the idea of Tell An Author You Care Day. So much, in fact, that I did it twice today! I've also decided to make this a regular thing for me. The 16th of every month will be Tell An Author You Care Day at TBR! I'll be doing more posts about my favorite authors and such. Feel free to join in on your own blog if you'd like!

Tell An Author You Care Day: Tamora Pierce

For Tell An Author You Care Day, I'd like to talk a bit about Tamora Pierce.

In fifth grade, my teacher had shelves and shelves of books. That year I discovered quite a few favorites. Stargirl was a big one. The Giver. However, the best of all? Tamora Pierce. The Song of the Lioness quartet.

I loved those books! I read them so many times that year. It was those books that made me the book lover I am today. Sure, BSC got me reading. I enjoyed some other books--the Little House books, for one. I read Harry Potter in third grade, and I loved it (but it didn't become an obsession until book four!). But when I think about why I have shelves and shelves of books, why I have books I read until their covers fall off (and then I buy new copies!), why I LOVE books so much, I think about Tamora Pierce. It's also why I love fantasy so much! I am always looking for fantasy that's as good as Tamora Pierce's.

Later, I read the Immortals books, the Circle of Magic, the Circle Opens, Protector of the Small, and so on, as new books came out, up until now (The latest? Terrier). I have loved them all, read them all multiple times. I think that Tamora Pierce's writing has improved since those early books (her stories were always great, though!). I still read her new releases faithfully. My favorites in the "Circle" universe are Street Magic and The Will of the Empress. My favorite Tortall books are Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen. So far--I know she'll write so many more great books!

So if you haven't read anything yet by Tamora Pierce, get yourself to a library or bookstore, now!

Tell An Author You Care Day!: 8 Things

I borrowed this idea from seaheidi. In honor of Tell An Author You Care Day, here are eight authors I'd like to thank.

1) Ann M. Martin, for writing the Babysitter's Club. When I discovered these books in the first grade, after not being much of a reader for the past couple of years (I did know how, I just didn't like it), I started to love it!
2) Francine Pascal! Later in Elementary school, I really loved the Sweet Valley books, and in about sixth grade I read the whole Fearless series. This was a big chunk of my reading back then!
3) Tamora Pierce.
4) Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. She was fourteen when she published her first book. I really love her books, but it's more than that. She showed me that it's possible to actually write, and write well, as a teenager! Before reading her books, I thought writing was something grown-ups did.
5) JK Rowling. I don't think she's the most awesome writer ever. I do love the books, though. And I think Harry is a major reason for this "golden age of YA lit," so I'd love to thank her for that! I am also very impressed with how well thought-out even the most complex parts of the (complex) plot are.
6) Lisa Klein, for Ophelia. I wrote a gushing review, and I absolutely can't get enough of this book. It definitely in my top 5, maybe my all-time favorite.
7) Gail Carson Levine, for writing some of the most awesome heroines ever in kid lit!
8) All of the other authors whose books I adore: Brent Hartinger, Meg Cabot, Bennet Madison, Garret Freymann-Weyr, Stephenie Meyer, Rachel Cohn, David Levithan, Scott Westerfeld, Cecelia Ahern, Pat Murphy, Curtis Sittenfeld, John Green, Sarah Dessen, Clive Barker, Isabel Allende, Maureen Johnson, Mary Hoffman, Gloria Whelan, Justin Somper, Rick Riordan, John Marsden, Sarah Grace McCandless, Eoin Colfer, Lara Zeises, Meg Rosoff, Margaret Petersen Haddix, Pam Munoz Ryan, Jerry Spinelli....

Yeah, so that last one makes it more than eight. They're all great, though!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Depressing Statistics

Here's the full list, compiled by Robyn Jackson, but these are some I found particularly depressing.

1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
Each day in the U.S., people spend 4 hours watching TV, 3 hours listening to the radio and 14 minutes reading magazines.

Harry Potter!

It's officially less than a week until the end. I am both anxiously awaiting the next installment in the series, and dreading life after the last Harry Potter book. Also, I saw the fifth movie Thursday night. Strictly as a movie (special effects and all), I thought it was great, but as a movie based on what is possibly my favorite book, well, not so much. Also, I was with a friend who doesn't read the books (I know! Horrible, isn't it?), and she said some parts were confusing to her.

So, to celebrate the countdown, I'm going to try and do Harry-related posts every day until The End. I'm also rereading the books. I read the first three over the past few days and I'm now reading number four. I've never really liked the first chapter of number four, so I put it off for awhile. I know I could just skip it, but that feels like cheating.

Anyway, here's a fun Harry Potter quiz:

Find out your Harry Potter personality at LiquidGeneration!

And then (just because) I took it again and got:

Find out your Harry Potter personality at LiquidGeneration!

And then I took it again with the same answers as the second time and got Harry Potter, which I forgot to copy and paste but it said something like: "You can be a jerk, but, hey, if we were locked in a closet until we were ten, we'd have anger issues, too." Which, frankly, I found hilarious. And so true. I've never really liked Harry. He's sort of whiny and annoying. Yes, I do love JK Rowling and hate Harry Potter.

New Writing Contest

Alyssa at The Shady Glade is having a writing contest! This one looks like a lot of fun, so you really should consider entering. And you have until September! All you have to do is write a poem or short story that retells a fairy tale. Details here.

Tip: If you can't think of any popular fairy tale you want to retell (Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, etc.,), try reading fairy tale books, because there's a lot out there that you've probably never even heard of!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

July 16th: Tell An Author You Care Day

Found this through readergirlz:

Children's writer Emily Beeson has declared July 16th to be Tell An Author You Care Day! If you tell an author you care in one of these ways and leave a comment on Emily's blog telling what you did, you can even win an Amazon gift card, to buy more great books from great authors! Here's what you can do:

"1. Write a letter or email to a favorite author. I think JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer recieve plenty of fan letters. Think of an author you love that may need a little boost.

2. Write a positive review on Amazon and, if you want to, link to it in your blog.

3. Buy a book by a favorite author and give it to someone who will enjoy it.

4. Profile an author in your blog. I'm not talking just another review. Tell us a little about the author and mention at least one of his/her books that you love."

I'll definitely be participating, and so should you!