Fool For Books Giveaway Hop!

Fool For Books Giveaway Hop

Dates for the Fool for Books Giveaway Hop:Friday, April 1st and Saturday, April 2nd The hop begins at 12:01 AM on Friday, April 1st, 2011 and closes on Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 at midnight. All times are EDT. (This blog's origin: CDT)

The Fool For Books Giveaway Hop is hosted by
I am A Reader, Not a Writer, with thanks to The Bookish Snob for helping host this giveaway hop!

For this giveaway hop, I am giving away an gift card worth $25.00! The only requirement is: You must be a GFC follower to win.

Contest is now closed! I will be announcing the winner soon, stay tuned and good luck!

Bestsellers in St. Louis

Top-Selling Titles in St. Louis Last Week

The following were the bestselling books at independent bookstores in and around St. Louis, Mo., during the week ended Sunday, March 27:


1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
2. Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock by Sammy Hagar
3. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo
4. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
5. The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
6. It Gets Better by Dan Savage and Terry Miller
7. St. Charles: Then & Now by Vicki Berger Erwin and Jessica Dwyer
8. Getting Things Done by David Allen
9. Nobody's Princess by Jennifer Egan
10. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

Kids and YA

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
4. Nurse, Soldier, Spy by Marissa Moss
5. Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
6. Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama
7. Impossible by Nancy Werlin
8. Lego Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary by DK
9. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
10. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Reporting bookstores: Left Bank Books, Main Street Books, Pudd'nHead Books, Subterranean Books, Sue's News, the Book House.

[Many thanks to the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance, the booksellers and Carl Lennertz!]

Book Review: Crossing the Tracks

Book Review: Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber

First sentence: "I pull my hand from our mailbox, the letter bent in my fingers, my mind reeling."

From the front flap: "At fifteen, Iris is a hobo of sorts -- no home, no family, no direction. After her mother's early death, Iris's father focuses on big plans for his new shoe store and his latest girlfriend, and has no time for his daughter. Unbeknownst to her, he hires Iris out as a housekeeper and companion for a country doctor's elderly mother. Suddenly Iris is alone, stuck in gritty rural Missouri, too far from her only friend, Leroy, and too close to a tenant farmer who menaces the neighbors and, Iris suspects, his own daughter.

Iris is buoyed by the warmth and understanding the doctor and his mother show her, but just as she starts to break out of her shell, tragedy strikes. Iris must find the guts and cunning to take aim at the devil incarnate and discover if she is really as helpless -- or as hopeless -- as she once believed."

My take: I really enjoyed this book. The writer's debut was very well written. Her lyrical voice was mesmerizing to me. It was a great story and I enjoyed it a lot. Iris was a gutsy fifteen-year-old and she grew up fast in her rural MO home. The elderly woman she takes care of is anything but needy. She imparts much wisdom on young Iris' impressionable mind. I loved it when Iris was angry at the neighbor gal for being mean to her and pegged her with an egg. Iris handled things in her own way and on her own, and never complained much to anyone. I found this an entertaining read and one I recommend highly.

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (July 6, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781416997030
ISBN-13: 978-1416997030
ASIN: 1416997032

My rating: A

Book Review: Cryer's Cross

Book Review: Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

First sentence: "Everything changes when Tiffany Quinn disappears."

From the front flap: "The small town of Cryer's Cross is rocked by tragedy when an unassuming freshman disappears without a trace. Kendall Fletcher wasn't that friendly with the missing girl, but the angst wreaks havoc on her OCD-addled brain.

When a second student goes missing -- someone close to Kendall's heart -- the community is in an uproar. Caught in a downward spiral of fear and anxiety, Kendall's not sure she can hold it together. When she starts hearing the voices of the missing calling out to her and pleading for help, she fears she's losing her grip on reality.

But when she finds messages scratched in a desk at school -- messages that could only be from the missing student who used to sit there -- Kendall decides that crazy or not, she'd never forgive herself if she didn't act on her suspicions.

Something's not right in Cryer's Cross -- and Kendall's about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried."

My take: I really enjoyed this book and read through it fairly fast... I had to know what was going to happen next. When a book does that for me, it's a good book. I enjoy Lisa McMann's writing and this book didn't disappoint me. I grew up in a small town, but it wasn't quite as small as Cryer's Cross. Still I can imagine how things like this would rock a "normal" person's world. I cannot imagine what it would do for someone suffering from OCD. All parts of the book are neatly woven leading up to a great ending. I highly recommend you buy, and read this book!

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Tea With Marce

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (February 8, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416994815
ISBN-13: 978-1416994817

My rating: A

50 Books in a Year Challenge

50 Books in a Year Challenge

Sponsored by

I also signed up for the 100 books in a year, which I did last year without any problem. This year, my reading has slowed down. So the 50 Books in a Year Challenge may be more attainable.

I will have a running list of books read in my sidebar!

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop Winner!

Congratulations to Sarah E.
Verified "Old" Follower: says you are lucky # 113!

I will contact you by email, and wait for your response. You have 48 hours to reply.

Thanks to all who participated to make this blog hop a success.

Book Review: Eighth Grade Bites

Book Review: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer

First sentence: "A tree branch slapped John Craig across the face scraping his skin, but he kept on running and ignored the stabbing of pine needles on his bare feet."

From the back: "Junior high really stinks for thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod. Bullies harass him, the principal is dogging him, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. Oh, and Vlad has a secret: His mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers and no one to teach him, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a strange substitute teacher begins to questions him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he realizes he has a much bigger problem: He's being hunted by a vampire killer who is closing in... fast!"

My take: Not too bad. It is a fast, easy read. Better for the younger young adult, I think. As long as they can handle blood drinking -- from a bag. I've heard good things about this series. I don't know if I'll go on to read the others or not. I liked it, but I didn't love it. I didn't really connect with the characters that well. There were some humorous spots which helped me through. I found myself skimming toward the end to see what happened.

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 182 pages
Publisher: Speak (March 13, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0142411876
ISBN-13: 978-0142411872

My rating: C

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop!

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop!

I am giving away an gift card valued at $10.00 USD. You must be a GFC Follower to win!

This contest is now closed. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and entered!

Book Review: Shiver

Book Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

First sentence: "I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves."

From the back: "Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf -- her wolf -- watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.

Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is is human, never daring to talk to Grace... until now.

For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human -- and Grace must fight to keep him -- even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future."

My take: I wanted to read this book for a long time so I was happy to find it on the sale shelf at my local (closing) Borders. I loved Ms. Stiefvater's previous work, and was totally enthralled by Lament and Ballad. I was hopeful that Shiver would be as good. Sadly, I did not like it as much as I liked the others. I know that many other people loved this book... so I wonder if it was just me? I was really disappointed in this book. There were some things that didn't work for me. When Grace meets Sam in his human form, it's like she is instantly in love with him and invites him into her home. He spends the night with her, in her room, in her bed. Innocently, of course. I don't get how her parents didn't know that was going on. Really? I just didn't get into this book like I had hoped I would. But it's not that I don't like her writing.

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Reading level: Young Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (June 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780545123273
ISBN-13: 978-0545123273
ASIN: 0545123275

My rating: D

Book Review: Torment

Book Review: Torment by Lauren Kate

First sentence: "Luce planned on keeping her eyes closed all six hours of the cross-country flight from Georgia out to California, right up until the moment when the wheels of the plane touched down in San Francisco."

From the front flap: "Hell on earth. That's what it's like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.

It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts -- immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the off-springs of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn't told her everything. He's hiding something -- something dangerous.

What if Daniel's version of the past isn't actually true? What is Luce is really meant to be with someone else?"

My take: I really wanted to love this second book in the Fallen series, but I didn't like it so much. I felt like it took forever for me to get into and it just fell short. I had a hard time with all the characters and all the things going on when I really wanted to just get to the "meat" of the story. I was sadly disappointed with this book. It came across as fragmented and confusing to me. Luce's major mood swings throughout this book were annoying. One minute she was in love with Daniel and the next she was doubting it all. I can't even say that I liked the book. Especially after having such high hopes and thoroughly enjoying Fallen.

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; First edition (September 28, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385739141
ISBN-13: 978-0385739146

My rating: D


The Bestsellers
Top-Selling Titles in Chicagoland and Milwaukee

The following were the bestselling books at independent bookstores in and around Chicago and Milwaukee during the week ending Sunday, February 27:

Hardcover Fiction

1. The Paris Wife by Paula Denise McClain
2. Room by Emma Donoghue
3. The Union Quilters by Jenn Chiaverini
4. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
2. Known and Unknown by Donald Rumsfeld
3. Triumph of the City by Edward Glaeser
4. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
5. Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff

Paperback Fiction

1. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
2. The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
3. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
4. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
5. A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrich

Paperback Nonfiction

1. Nurtureshock by Po Bronson
2. Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
3. The Big Short by Michael Lewis
4. Just Kids by Patti Smith
5. The King's Speech by Mark Logue


1. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
2. Silverlicious by Victoria Kann
3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
4. Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
5. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Reporting bookstores: Anderson's, Naperville and Downers Grove; Read Between the Lynes, Woodstock; the Book Table, Oak Park; the Book Cellar, Lincoln Square; Lake Forest Books, Lake Forest; the Bookstall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka; Women and Children First, Chicago; Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee; and Next Chapter Bookshop, Meqoun, Wis.

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