Die For Me

Die For Me by Amy Plum (will be released May 10, 2011)

After both of her parents die in a fatal car accident, Kate and her older sister Georgia pack up their former lives in Brooklyn and move to Paris, France. In the hopes of starting over, Georgia finds the local party scene as a means to coping, while Kate finds a corner in a local cafe where she keeps to herself and her nose in a book. 
 
That is until she meets Vincent. The guy who’s managed to sweep her off her feet with a mere glance, and makes her a believe in love at first sight. Vincent is all Kate could ever hope and want for in a boyfriend. He’s tall, dark, and handsome, the most chivalrous guy in a time when chivalry is dead, he’s one of the many walking dead that roam the streets of Paris.

That’s right, Vincent is a revenant – someone who dies to save another life, and returns to the living world three days later. Kate is quickly thrust into this life and love – a life and love she’s not exactly sure she wants. But when an outside force threatens, not only Vincent and his family, but Kate and her family, she’s sure that she’ll stop at nothing to keep Vincent safe, sound, and alive – or as alive as he could be.

Die for Me, written by debut author Amy Plum, is an attention grabbing book that doesn’t rely on cliché paranormal romance antics. Unlike other books in this genre, readers will not find any vampires or werewolves, a welcomed notion in the paranormal romance world.

Plum does a great job at seamlessly weaving realistic situations with elements of both fantasy and horror, making Die For Me a must read for any fan of these genres. Emotionally driven, readers will be left both loving and fearing Vincent and his fellow revenants.

Die For Me’s character’s are strong and mysterious, and drive the plotline forward. A quick read, readers will fall instantly in love with Plum’s atmospheric writing. She’s descriptive, but not overly so.

*Die For Me is set in Paris, France. However, I found that the setting was neither here nor there. I honestly felt that this could have been set anywhere in the world, and the story still would have worked.

Last Night I Dreamed of Chickens

Last Night I Dreamed of Chickens by Jack Prelutsky

“Last night I dreamed of chickens,

there were chickens everywhere,

they were standing on my stomach,

they were nesting in my hair,

they were pecking at my pillow,

they were hopping on my head,

they were ruffling up their feathers

as they raced about my bed.

They were on the chairs and tables,

they were on the chandeliers,

they were roosting in the corners,

they were clucking in my ears,

there were chickens, chickens, chickens

for as far as I could see…

when I woke today, I noticed

there were eggs on top of me.”

Unearthly

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Clara Gardner is different. Not only is she faster, stronger, and even prettier than her human peers, but she’s part angel who’s just been given her purpose, a divine task that only she could complete. A purpose that comes and goes through untimely visions involving a mysterious dark-haired boy, an inescapable forest fire, and an overwhelming sadness.
 
When her purpose leads her and her family into the wilderness of Wyoming, Clara isn’t exactly happy about leaving behind her home, her friends, or her life. But once in Wyoming, Clara starts to build a new life, with new friends, and new challenges. Challenges like: driving in the snow, trying to blend in with orange hair, trying to get to know Christian, the mysterious boy from her vision, and trying not to fall in love with the wrong guy.

Will these challenges prove to be too much, too hard for Clara? Will she succeed and fulfill her purpose? Will Clara succeed and fulfill her purpose?

Unearthly written by debut author Cynthia Hand is a unique book that stands out within the sea of angel-themed books gracing bookshelves. Setting it apart is how seamless Hand managed to infuse mystery, romance, and even suspense into the book’s pages.

What makes Unearthly stand out is that its original. It seems like if you’ve read one paranormal romance you’ve read them all. Unearthly promises to be different. It’s filled with unpredictable plot turns, and strong, independent characters working together in tandem to make an unbelievable real story.

Quick paced and seamlessly written, readers will instantly be drawn to Clara, Unearthly’s heroine. Clara is a shining example of girl power. She’s strong-willed, independent, and follows her heart no matter what. But Clara isn’t the only great characters. All of the books characters are well-developed, realistic, and really the driving force behind this book.

One Inch Tall

One Inch Tall by Shel Silverstein

“If you were only one inch tall, you’d ride a worm to school.

The teardrop of a crying ant would be your swimming pool.

A crumb of cake would be a feast

And last you seven days at least,

A flea would be a frightening beast

If you were one inch tall.

If you were only one inch tall, you’d walk beneath the door,

And it would take about a month to get down to the store.

A bit of fluff would be your bed,

You’d swing upon a spider’s thread,

And wear a thimble on your head

If you were one inch tall.

You’d surf across the kitchen sink upon a stick of gum.

You couldn’t hug your mama, you’d just have to hug her thumb.

You’d run from people’s feet in fright,

To move a pen would take all night,

(This poem took fourteen years to write–

‘Cause I’m just one inch tall).”

I Had A Little Nut-Tree

I Had a Little Nut – Tree by Roald Dahl

“I had a little nut-tree,

Nothing would it bear.

I searched in all its branches,

But not a nut was there.

‘Oh, little tree,’ I begged,

‘Give me just a few.’

The little tree looked down at me

And whispered, ‘nuts to you.’ “

Little Words

Little Words by Dorothy Parker

“When you are gone, there is nor bloom nor leaf,
 
Nor singing sea at night, nor silver birds;
 
And I can only stare, and shape my grief
 
In little words.

I cannot conjure loveliness, to drown

The bitter woe that racks my cords apart.
The weary pen that sets my sorrow down
Feeds at my heart.

There is no mercy in the shifting year,

No beauty wraps me tenderly about.
I turn to little words- so you, my dear,
Can spell them out.”

Book of the Week: Shoe-La-La

Shoe-La-La by Karen Beaumont Illustrated by Leuyen Pham

Published: 2011 Scholastic Press

Reasons why I liked this book, and chose it as Book of the Week:

It really does show a girl’s love of shoes.

The four characters – Emily, Ashley, Kaitlyn, Clair – are not only glamor girls, but divas in training (in a good way of course).

I love how the book illustrates the fun in playing dress up.

The girls are all patient, especially when shopping for shoes and not finding any they like.

It makes all shoe lovers feel a bit bad for the shoe salesman – especially trying on many pairs of shoes and deciding not to get one pair.

The text rhymes, and who doesn’t love rhyming text!

The I love how the book shows that shoes can transform into a different person – for example if you wear ballet slippers, you could be a ballerina, or a pair of cowboy boots you could be a cowgirl.

I love how brightly colored this book is. Not only will the text and bold illustrations attract readers and attention, but the colors simply will as well.

The girls vogue at one point in the book – striking a pose with some real attitude.

The girls are all crafty and imaginative.

I love how when they don’t find the perfect pair of shoes, they decide to make their own shoes on their own terms. If only finding the perfect pair of shoes were that easy.

I love how the cover of this book (literally) sparkles.

This book illustrates the importance of being proud of yourself, even if you accomplish the smallest of small accomplishments.