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Stories to Haunt Your Socks Off, a haunting guest post by Britney

I love this time of year. The weather is starting to get chilly, everything smells like pumpkins and spiced apples, and my love of all things spooky is justified. I love horror stories. I like reading them, watching them, and hearing them. I like paranormal horror stories and thrillers that show how terrifying humans can be. I like zombie novels and ghost stories and anything that goes bump in the night. Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year because it feels like the line between reality and all the big What Ifs is at its thinnest.

One creepy genre that I love reading about are ghost stories. I grew up with a family that tried to out scare each other with ghost stories, which has made me always on the hunt for the next one. Some ghost stories aren’t necessarily scary—they can be touching and powerful in a sad, heartbreaking way—but they make for great Halloween (or any stormy night) reading.

Here are my top 5 ghost stories:

1. Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

I LOVED reading the stories in this book when I was a kid. They were spooky and had me staying up late at night. I remember retelling them to my friends and family because they would get stuck in my head. Great book to read on chilly nights while you’re curled up on the couch. Just make sure your doors are locked and keep all your lights on.

2. The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

 

The Tell-Tale Heart straddles the line of ghost story and psychological thriller. You know the story: a man murders someone and then he hears their heart beating below his floorboards, where the narrator has hidden the body. Poe knows how to write unreliable characters, which makes you question the sanity of the narrator or if maybe, just maybe, the dead has came back to haunt him. Either way, it’s a creepy short story that is perfect for the Halloween season.

3. Frost by Marianna Baer

Frost is another story that could be either creepy ghost story or psychological thriller. Unlike The Tell-Tale Heart, I didn’t end the book with a definite opinion on which way it went. I’m still not sure if the Frost House was really haunted or not. Marianna Baer has done an amazing job of leaving you with goosebumps and your mind playing tricks on you.

4. The Mediator series by Meg Cabot

Suze can see and speak to the dead. She doesn’t necessarily like it but she’s trying to get used to it. When she moves with her mother from New York to California, she finds a VERY good-looking ghost in her room. Everyone, meet Jesse. He’s my number one dead crush because he’s got the charm, old school chivalry, and looks tan even while he’s dead.

The series follows Suze as she deals with her abilities and the ghosts that she meets along the way. Some are pretty intense and some are heartbreaking. Perfect series to read and reread when you’re looking for something that has paranormal, romance, and hilarious dialogue.

5. Shade series by Jeri Smith-Ready

Shade is the first in a trilogy that is set in alternate present-day, where people born after a certain day can see ghosts. The government has found ways to prevent ghosts from entering public buildings and there are limits on where ghosts can travel to (only places they’ve been to unless they turn into a violent ghost). At the very beginning one of the main characters dies and becomes a ghost. It’s a YA trilogy that I love because of how unique it is. It turns ghost stories on their head and makes sense out of ghosts and spirits. It’s not dark and eerie but it is a great read that I gushed about to everyone who would listen.

About Britney: Britney is one-third of the review site I Eat Words (www.ieatwords.com). When not blogging about books, pop culture, and TV shows, she spends her time advising people on what to read at the library and working on her book. She may have seen a ghost of her own before but that’s a different story.

These are a Few of My Creepiest Things (Christie G)

The library can be a creepy place, and there are things they don’t teach you in library school.  Here Christie G shares five of her creepiest library stories. Insert scary background music and “wooo” noises here.




SWAT is here to lock-down the building
So I’ve mentioned this one before, but it’s got to be on a top five of the creepiest things I’ve dealt with in library world.  We got a notification from the SWAT commander that they would be raiding the housing complex next door.  Since our parking lot was adjacent to the fence that surrounding the complex, SWAT was going to be IN the parking lot.  We weren’t to let anyone in or out of the building, and they would have an officer there in case something happened.  We had games and crafts for anyone under 18 in the multi-purpose room of the building, which was the one place that didn’t have windows aside from the staff room, and the adult patrons were allowed to stay in the main part of the library as the windows did not face the complex and weren’t deemed a hazard.  Five hours later, we were able to let everyone leave.


Post 9/11 Training
Things have changed, for better or for worse you decide, after 9/11/01, but one thing that I have noticed is that I have gotten a variety of safety training that usually has nothing to do with libraries.  Whether this is because I’m on the management side of things or not, I have been trained by FEMA for catastrophes both natural and man-made.  I have been trained by law enforcement and other agencies to know how to react with bio-hazards, gunman attacks, terrorist threats, and a host of other situations that I don’t think would have crossed anyone’s minds before 9/11 that would involve a public library (at least, aside from dealing with the public restroom stench or clogged toilets).  The only bright side is That Guy has had similar training due to his position as a geek, so I guess we might actually be prepared for the zombies.

One way or another I’m gonna getcha, I’ll getcha, I’ll getcha getcha getcha getcha
I don’t consider myself anything above average, in fact, I consider myself below average.  I’m amazed constantly with the fact that That Guy is still with me, and that I haven’t screwed our relationship up.  So, when I found out that I had a stalker, it didn’t click.  He would be at the library, and would make chit-chat.  I always had my wedding rings on (engagement and wedding band) and they were on the correct fingers, and there really is no mistaking them for anything other than what they are, so I’m not sure what the deal was.  But I am a friendly sort, so we would talk about innocent things.  And then, on my dinner breaks if I happened to be out at say, a certain chain that has a clown and a golden M, he would happen to be there on his way home, and say hi. Then it would be running into him at the local store by work.  Could have been happenstance- I’ve run into other patrons.  But then my co-workers started to mention it, because he’d ask them about me when I wasn’t there. Then he’d mention that I got a new car.  And that I changed my work schedule.  And other things.  And that’s when he started getting more aggravated when he couldn’t find me, because when he came in, I would move to the work room from the desk, and I would start eating lunches in our break room.  Finally he was issued a restraining order from me and from the library because he wouldn’t leave it alone.


Missed the Curb
I never understood how this happened, but one branch I worked at was across the street from a post office, and we had a wonderful view of it from the windows in the public area.  It was a nice little post office, with large windows in the public area.  I had decided to spread out some work that I was doing on a table out there, and had a view of the beautiful spring day, and saw this car idling at the light.  Then all of a sudden, they hit the gas, and turned left, jumped the curb, went through the parking lot and smashed the car through the windows of the public area of the post office.  There were a few people hurt, but no broken bones, mostly cuts and scrapes and bruises, and we never did figure out why the driver rammed the post office.  They hadn’t been in there that day, and it always freaked me out because they could have just as easily turned right and took out the library’s windows instead.

Thanks for Trying and Caring, Because at Least Someone Did
One of the things that will haunt me is the fact that I might have been able to save a life of a teen.  I was scheduled off on a day that a teen of mine that I had been working with called to speak with me.  They had been troubled, and I knew it, and I had told them that if they *ever* needed to talk, they could call me.  I had even given them my home number, but at the time they needed it, either they had lost it or they couldn’t find it, so they called my work number.  Working in a large system, cell phone and home numbers are never given out.  So the teen, having hit the wall of the staff, said, well, just tell her thanks for trying and caring, because at least someone did.  I’ve never heard from that teen again, and I have no clue what happened.  They might have just moved, but I’ve always been scared that they committed suicide because they were suicidal, and that was their reach out. 

Book Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

This is the book where Sarah Rees Brennan makes you laugh a lot; you’re having the best time then she rips your heart out and grinds it into a bloody pulp in the lush woods of Sorry-in-the-Vale under the heal of her boot and you say thank you because it is a glorious reading experience!
 

Background: I recently attended the Autsin Teen Book Festival and, as I am often inclined to do, I kept walking up to complete strangers and asking them who they were here to see and why.  Everyone does that, right?  I was surprised when several teenage boys and men said they were there to see Sara Rees Brennan, her book covers seems so girly.  But yep, that’s who they were there to see.  So I bought a signed copy of Unspoken and began reading it.

The first thing you should know is that despite the fact that this is a ya paranormal, I laughed out loud a lot.  I had to stop and read several passages out loud to The Mr. when he gave me sideways glances about how loudly I was laughing.  In fact, I give unto Ms. Brennan and honorary award for Most Hilarious Romeo and Juliet reference. Read pages 69 and 70. Also, bonus points because Kami goes to the library to do research and this is also a fun scene: “Can you tell me where I could find books on Satanism?” Twenty minutes later, she had Dorothy convinced that it was for a school project, and she really did not have to telephone Kami’s parents (p. 43)  So that’s two random completely made up awards, Best Romeo and Juliet Reference and Best Library Scene.  Don’t worry Sarah, your awards are “in the mail.”

“Hark,” he said, his tone very dry. “What stone through yonder window breaks?” 
Here’s the gist of the story: Kami is this awesome girl (I love her and her confidence and want my daughter to read books with female characters like her) who wants to be an investigative reporter.  Think Veronica Mars.  She is feisty, fun and generally self-confident (though plagued to be the daughter and BFF of apparently truly beautiful women).  She also has spent her entire life speaking to an imaginary friend in her head, which can make for some awkward situations. Diversity note: Kami is a multicultural main character. Bonus points.

Kami lives in Sorry-in-the-Vale, a place full of secrets that generally surround the Lynburn family who have – surprise! – suddenly returned.  Naturally, Kami wants to get all the scoop. As she investigates she is drawn into a paranormal mystery that puts her and the people she loves in danger.  The Lynburn family really don’t want their secrets told.
 
“If I wasn’t going to be a world-famous journalist and if I didn’t have such respect for truth and justice, I could be an amazing master criminal.” 

There are two components in Unspoken that will knock your socks off: the setting and the friendships.
Sorry-in-the-Vale is an atmospheric place full of haunting woods, crying pools and gothic castles, which is of course the Lynburn manner.  Here Brennan continues an awesome trend I am currently seeing in these gothic tales that look at more traditional forms of magic as opposed to more fantastical forms of magic seen in things like Harry Potter. In Sorry-in-the-Vale, the very earth may move to trap you and shadows hold strong connections between souls.

As for the friendships, Kami surrounds herself with an “intrepid” group of reports that include her best friend Angela, a girl named Holly and two of the very people that she may be investigating, Ash and Jared Lynburn.  The group comes together hesitantly, swayed in part by Kami’s charm and enthusiasm.  However, each character comes to play an important role and are really a lot of fun in their own ways.  Angela is a fun, if not somewhat lethargic, best friend.  She is a champion napper.
Kami’s family is also fun (and a whole family to boot!).  This is the only stumbling blog that I came across.  When Kami goes home and interacts with her family, they are fun and quippy, but at times their voices become interchangeable, particularly Kami and her father.  You can chock it up to being a part of the same family, but when others characters have such strong voices it is hard to see these voices blend so easily.  They are without a doubt fun scenes to read, I am just not sure they are the strongest scenes here which is unfortunate because it is great seeing a fun, healthy, dynamic family in ya lit.
There is some swoon factor here, of course, and it is done fairly well.  There is, in fact, lots of magnetism and romantic possibilities for various characters.  And then there is the end; the jaw dropping what the heck did you just do to me Sarah Rees Brennan end.  SPOILER ALERT: This is a FANTASTIC ending! It is a brave and bold and holy crap she just did not do that ending.  Here our characters are walking down path A, they have a touching, heartfelt moment and then – boom! – one of our characters steps onto path B, and it looks to be an awesome new direction.  It is gut wrenching.  Joss Whedon has said that he doesn’t give his viewers what they want, but what they need, which is such a bold form of storytelling.  Brennan engages in some bold storytelling here and it will sweep the feet out from under you. Also, I can’t say it enough – funny and great voice, teens will love it.
There is so much more I want to tell you about this book, but I don’t want to spoil you.  Don’t be spoiled! You’ll hate yourself in the morning.

4 out of 5 stars for this funny, fantastic read. Highly recommended. And although The Sunnydale Project is over, this would definitely go on my list of recommended reads for Buffy fans.  Leave a comment with an e-mail address and you’ll be entered to win my signed copy of Unspoken, which I will give up with tears – but it is for the cause of books!  U.S. people only please and leave your comment by Friday, November 2nd.

5 GNs for Halloween Scares by Karen D

5 Great Graphic Novels for Halloween Scares

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Ghost Hunt
by Shiho Inada

PARTNERS IN FEAR

The
decrepit building was condemned long ago, but every time the owners try
to tear it down, “accidents” start to happen–people get hurt, sometimes
even killed. Mai Taniyama and her classmates have heard the rumors that
the creepy old high school is haunted–possibly by ghosts from the
Second World War. So one rainy day they gather at the told school to
tell ghost stories, hoping to attract one of the suspected spirits.

No
ghosts materialize, but Mai and her friends do meet Kazuya Shibuya, the
handsome young owner of Shibuya Psychic Research, who’s been hired to
investigate paranormal activity at the school. Also at the scene are an
exorcist, a Buddhist monk, a woman who can speak with the dead, and an
outspoken Shinto priestess. Surely one of them will have the talents to
solve this mystery. . .  (goodreads)


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Pet Shop of Horrors 

by Matsuri Akino

A smoke-filled alley in
Chinatown harbors Count D’s Pet Shop. The pets sold here aren’t your
everyday variety and the Count prides himself on selling Love and Dreams
in the form of magical creatures that come with an exclusive contract.
But buyers beware. If the contract is broken the Count cannot be held
accountable for whatever may happen. A fascinating and macabre look into
the very soul of human nature. (goodreads)

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Hopless, Maine: Personal Demons
by Tom and Nimue Brown  

Trapped on an island
off the coast of Maine, the people of Hopeless find life a little darker
and more dangerous with every day that passes. The number of orphans
rises continually, but who can say what happens to their parents? Plenty
of the bodies are never found. This is not the stuff of happy, careless
childhoods, it is instead fertile ground for personal demons. In
Hopeless, the demons are not always abstract concepts. Some of them have
very real teeth, and very real horns. The island has been isolated for a
very long time. Partly because of being small and forgotten, partly
because the rocks and currents do not encourage visitors, Hopeless is
surrounded by fog and overrun with nightmarish creatures, from small
things with tentacles to demons and vampires. It’s a peculiar place.
Here, almost anything can happen, from the weird and unsettling to the
darkly funny. With a cast of freaks, nutters and the odd power crazed
psychopath, life in Hopeless is seldom dull. Hopeless is also about who
you choose to be. The tale is a protest against apathy, and against the
small evils that everyone takes for granted. The worst monsters
frequently aren’t the ones with the obvious teeth – who are merely
dangerous by nature – but the apparently ordinary people who choose to
do hideous things. (goodreads)

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Monster
by Naoki Urasawa

An ice-cold killer is on
the loose, and brilliant Dr. Kenzo Tenma is the only one who can stop
him! Conspiracies, serial murders, and a scathing indictment of hospital
politics are all masterfully woven together in this compelling manga
thriller. Tenma risks his promising medical career to save the life of a
critically wounded young boy. Unbeknownst to him, this child is
destined for a terrible fate. Who could have known that Tenma would
create a monster!
(goodreads)

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Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things
by Ted Naifeh 

Courtney’s parents have
dragged her out to a high-to-do suburb to live with her creepy Great
Uncle Aloysius in his spooky old house. She’s not only the new kid in
school, but she also discovers strange things lurking under her bed.
(goodreads)

Someone just walked across my grave: YA lit with creepy graveyard scenes

You can’t talk about the scary and the macabre without mentioning books that have an edge of your seat scare you silly graveyard scene.  And this is definitely the month for talking graveyards.  So take a walk with me through the graveyard, if you dare . . .
It was the greatest night of my life.
Although I still had not found a wife
I had my friends
Right there beside me.
We were close together.
We tripped the wall and we scaled the graveyard
Ancient shapes were all around us.
(The Graveyard Poem by The Doors)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

I feel like I shouldn’t even have to say something about this book, but I will.  Nobody Owens would probably be a normal little boy, if he wasn’t being raised in a graveyard by ghosts.  Magical and at times terrifying, this is the ultimate graveyard book.  They call Gaiman a master storyteller for a reason and this is one of reasons why.  You’ll be afraid to turn the lights out.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.” When Blue sees Gansey in the graveyard on St. Mark’s Eve she’s not sure which one he is, but part of the gloriousness that is The Raven Boys is trying to figure it out.  This is one of my favorite books of the year.  Read it. Read my review here.

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Alice should have listened when her father told her not to go out at night.  Now Alice has fallen down the zombie hole and there is no turning back.  An interesting twist on zombie novels with hints of Alice in Wonderland, check this one out. A blink, a breath, a second; everything changes in the graveyard. Read my review here.

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

“These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for nearly ninety years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.” Here we read the journal of Will Henry, an orphan who is an apprentice to a monster hunter (or is he simply just a monster?)  This has some wicked graveyard scenes and is generally just a great horror story for this time of the year.

Rotters by Daniel Kraus

It’s a book about grave robbers, there are graveyards.  Again, terrifying and disturbing and a great read for this time of year.  I believe I have mentioned it before.  Sorry, but it is a GREAT read for this time of year – I would hate for you or your teens to miss out.

Creepers by Joanne Dahme

Moving to a new town is hard enough, but what happens when your bedroom window overlooks the cemetery?  When the body of her ancestor goes missing from underneath her tombstone, 13-year-old Courtney finds herself trying to solve a very creepy mystery.

Going Underground by Vaught

Working a less than typical after school job as a grave digger, Del meets Livia.  Will may choose to reveal the secrets of his past, but that may just be digging himself into even a bigger hole.

Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings

I have not actually read this book, but somebody recommended it to me on Twitter and it sounds like fun.  You can read about it at Goodreads.

Know any more good graveyard books? Please leave us a comment and add to our list. Thank you.

GN Review: Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel

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Ghostopolis 
by Doug TenNapel
267 pages
Graphic Novel
2010
Book Jacket Summary
A page-turning adventure of a boy’s journey
to the land of ghosts and back.Imagine Garth Hale’s surprise when he’s
accidentally zapped to the spirit world by Frank Gallows, a washed-out ghost
wrangler. Suddenly Garth finds he has powers the ghosts don’t have, and he’s
stuck in a world run by the evil ruler of Ghostopolis, who would use Garth’s
new found abilities to rule the ghostly kingdom. When Garth meets Cecil, his
grandfather’s ghost, the two search for a way to get Garth back home, and nearly
lose hope until Frank Gallows shows up to fix his mistake.


My Thoughts
Garth is dying of an incurable disease and his mother has dragged him to another specialist but there is nothing the doctors can do at this point. Frank Gallows works for the Supernatural Immigration Task Force as a ghost hunter. He is lazy about his job and accidentally sends Garth to the afterlife while chasing a rouge Night Mare. Garth must now navigate Ghostopolis with his grandfather’s ghost and the Night Mare he names Skinny. Frank tries to make up for his mistake by getting Garth back to the real world with his ex, Claire. They all converge after having adventures and must fight the evil Vaugner for the control of Ghostopolis.
I liked this graphic novel because it deals with a lot of issues, like abandonment, death, and believing in oneself. It reminded me of the movie Iron Giant (which I love) in the character features and slightly in tone. I would recommend this one to the guys and anyone who likes action/adventure graphic novels. Characters are well formed and grow, figuratively and literally. Enjoy!   
Book Pairings
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
  Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi

By TLT Blogger Karen D

TGIF: Five reasons I can’t wait for Friday

My Friday will start earlier than normal and involve a commute that lasts roughly nine times longer than my usual one and I couldn’t be happier about it.  Why? Early Friday morning I’m heading to St. Louis for the 3rd YALSA Young Adult Literature Symposium: Hit Me With The Next Big Thing.

Here are the top five reasons I’m excited about the Symposium.

Professional engagement!
I haven’t been to a library conference or meeting since the last Symposium in 2010.  For a former-almost-conference junkie that’s a long time.  I love chatting with people who do the same job I do in very different ways, or share a similar passion but do a totally different job.  I miss hearing new ideas, meeting new people with new approaches, seeing old friends and hearing what they’re up to.  And I love that no mater the setting, when you get a bunch of YA librarians together you’re sure to leave with a long list of new books you can’t wait to read.

Authors!
Have you SEEN the list of authors attending?  There are some heavy hitters there.  Hearing authors speak about their work always gives a little spark to my Reader’s Advisory work.  Being able to throw in a little personal tidbit while trying to entice a teen to pick up a book can make a huge difference.  Plus, meeting YA authors reminds me how connected we as a profession are to others, and how we all want the same thing – to make a difference for teens.

Presentations!
Honestly, the presentations are more stressful than exciting right now.  Such a great variety; so many wonderful presenters; such important and useful topics.  If only the Symposium were a week long, I wouldn’t have to choose between them.  Right now, my personal lineup requires me to clone myself.  Fortunately, presenters from past symposiums have generously shared their handouts, so if my science is off and there’s only one of me, I’m hoping the same generosity will allow me to catch a few details and book lists after the fact.

Books!
I’m expecting my reading list to explode, and the Book Blitz ought to help with that, in addition to the aforementioned book recommending that we can’t seem to help doing.

St. Louis!
Last time I was there I slept in a motel bathtub to avoid my grandpa’s snores on a family vacation.  The lodging should be significantly improved this time around, plus I hear great things about the City Museum and the ice cream at Ted Drewes and toasted ravioli on The Hill.  I’ll get to test my still wavering fear of heights in The Arch, and St. Louis natives have whispered three magical words that I think I’ve been waiting to hear all my life: gooey. butter. cake.

Will I see you there? Heather will be telling us all about it next week when she blogs her recap, so stop back by.

A “Zest” for Teen Nonfiction: Your TLT Zest Books HQ

During the month of November TLT is going to be talking about Teen Nonfiction and Science Fiction.  As part of our celebration we are doing a special project with Zest Books for the week of November 11th-17th.  During this week we will be reviewing several of their titles, giving you ready made programs to use with their books, and sharing some of our own personal stories inspired by their titles.
 *  Book Reviews  *  Teen Programs in a Box  *  Booklists  * Giveaways  *
If you are not familiar with Zest Books, these are great Teen Nonfiction titles because they are quick yet heartfelt teen reads that are packaged perfectly for their audience.
Oh, and did I mention that we will be having several giveaways during this week where you can win a package of several Nonfiction titles from Zest Books?  Well – we are!!!
Join us every day November 11th – 17th as we talk about the end of the world, our first crushes (and breakups) and share some amazing teen programming that includes fashion, babysitting and saving the Earth!
As we post new posts, they will be linked here for your convenience, making this your TLT Zest Books Headquarters.
Dear Teen Me, authors write letters to their teen selves edited by E. Kristin Anderson and Miranda Kenneally
The End, a look at books containing epidemics based on The End: 50 apocalyptic Visions from Pop Culture That You Should Know About . . . before it’s too late by Laura Barcella
 
 
 
 
Uncool (Book Review)
 
Girls Against Girls (Book Review and Discussion)

Book Review: Conjure by Lea Nolan

Be careful what you search for…

Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry–hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.

When a strange girl appears, bent on revenge; demon dogs become a threat; and Jack turns into a walking skeleton; Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex, all before summer—and her friends–are lost forever. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

What is not to love about this synopsis: pirate bounty! messages in bottles! flesh-eating Creeps! and walking skeletons! You know right away you are entering into a Southern Gothic tale steeped in the traditions of hoodoo magic.  Conjure is a very unique read as this type of magic – Hoodoo Magic – doesn’t often appear in ya lit and it definite gives it a distinct advantage; you are not in for a typical ya book.  And it should go without saying that there are some unique gothic overtones to Conjure with a little Southern drawl to give it that special kick.  The setting just captures the reader and keeps you invested, a wonderful example of creating atmosphere.
Hoodoo: : a body of practices of sympathetic magic traditional especially among blacks in the southern United States (Definition from Merriam Webster online)
Like pretty much all yas these days, there is a nice little romance involved.  I love that here we have childhood friends with secret crushes and the opportunity for it to turn into something more.  Here again Nolan meets readers expectations but with a twist and step around some of the more normal ya paranormal tropes.
 
I do have to say that this is a great book to pair with The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.  There is just something special about these intimate looks at magic.  And I mentioned there were pirates, right? Come on, pirates! You can’t beat that.
“Richly filled with exquisite imagery, a compelling story, and a strong, smart heroine. Conjure will keep you up way past your bedtime.” –Trinity Faegen, author of The Mephisto Covenant series

This is an unexpected read: exciting, dangerous, adventurous – everything we want from a good book. Yet Nolan puts that creative twist on all the elements, making Conjure something special.  Conjure is recommended, 4 out of 5 stars. Also, it looks like a great 2013 trend is going to be a look at more traditional forms of magic such as Hoodoo and “Earth” magic (again, see Raven Boys), as opposed to the more fantasy magic of things like Harry Potter.

Other books of interest:
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
Anansi Boys and more by Neil Gaiman
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Meet Lea Nolan:
Lea Nolan couldn’t read until the third grade. After a lot of hard work she finally got the hang of it and devoured any book she could find with a shiny Newberry Award sticker on the cover. Today she writes the stories she sought as a teen—smart paranormals with bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance and a sprinkle of history. She holds degrees in history and women’s studies concentrating in public policy and lives with her heroically supportive husband and three brilliant children in Maryland.

Social Media links:
Website: http://www.leanolan.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lea_Nolan
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheHoodooApprentice
Group blog: http://honestlyya.blogspot.com/

Information:
Title: Conjure (The Hoodoo Apprentice, #1)
Author: Lea Nolan
Genre: Young Adult
Length: 400 pages
Release Date: October 16, 2012
ASIN: B009NY42GM
Print ISBN: 978-1620610978

CONJURE on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13425130-conjure

http://www.amazon.com/Conjure-The-Hoodoo-Apprentice-Nolan/dpsr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345168145&sr=8-1&keywords=conjure+lea+nolan

On Entangled: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/category/young-adult/

Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/conjure-lea-nolan/1109672878?ean=9781620610978
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1620610973/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_0Gqnqb1CVCX0Q%20
Powells: http://www.powells.com/biblio/62-9781620610978-0
Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Conjure-Lea-Nolan/9781620610978
Indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781620610978
Books-a-million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Conjure/Lea-Nolan/9781620610978?id=550228716449

This Just In: It Came From a Book contest winner announced

We are very excited to announce the winner of the It Came from a Book teen art contest