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Christie’s To Drool For: November/ December 2013 Releases

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Oh, so many good books coming! And with the holidays and everything, I don’t know how I will have time to read them all!

November Drools:

6th in the Iron Fey series, Ethan slips back on the world of fairy in order to try and save both worlds, and the girl that he loves.


The finale of Marie Lu’s trilogy, June and Day have sacrificed everything in order to stop war, yet a new plague threatens to destroy everything they’ve worked for. 

A new series from the writer of The Godess Test series, Kitty Doe knows that she’s stuck in the life she’s born with, and the only way to get anything is to score well on the Test. When she scores a III, her life might as well be over, so when she can become a VII she jumps at the chance. Yet, drawn as a pawn into the ruling class’s power games, can she take control?

December Drools:


Conclusion to the Under the Never Sky triology, Perry and Asia are trying untie the survivors of the Aether storms and tribal infighting in order to make it to the one place that might still be safe.


Elizabeth can’t wait to begin coordinating EVERYTHING with her freshman year roomie, and starts sending letters in order to coordinate bedding and mini-fridges; much to Lauren’s surprise, as she asked for a single room. Soon they’re sharing letters, secrets, and learning that sometimes the only people you can count is someone you’ve never met.



The sequel to Prophecy, only days have passed since Kira has safely returned her cousin the  prince back to their uncle the King. Yet the Demon Lord has not been defeated, and in order to defend her cousin’s claim to the throne, she must set out to gather the remaining the two dragon treasures before the country is destroyed by war.

We Came, We Saw, We Talked, We Stalked: Christie’s ALA Highlights



We Came
I had a blast at ALA Annual in Chicago. Buses and transportation got a little weird, but I loved the energy with the Blackhawks celebration and the Pride Celebration and everything else going on. So much fun! And add into the mix all the authors and librarians and the craziness that we have anyways, and it’s always a good time!


We Saw
There were some sessions that I missed due to the rooms being overfull past the point of fire codes (YA Dystopian Authors, Cory Doctorow and DRM) which is something that needs worked on. I did run into a lot of my conference family and even people I’ve worked with in the past that I never see except for conferences which is always a wonderful time. I attended a wonderful session on graphic novels entitled Let’s Discuss This: A Roundtable Discussion which featured Gail Simone, John Green (from Disney’s Phineas and Ferb and Teenboat), Paul Pope, Gregg Hurwitz, and Jeffrey Brown talking about the comic industry.
John Green and Gail Simone
And I was also able to attend the Scholastic Brunch, where I was treated to reader theater and learned about new titles by Gordan Korman and others…
Gordon Korman with his new series The Hypnotists

Kat Falls and her new book Inhuman

Brandon Mull and Spirit Animals #1: Wild Born, a multiplatform series

We Talked
I represented the Rainbow Project (of which I am chair this year) at the SRRT All Committee meeting and on the exhibits floor to help find titles for this year’s list. Karen and I also spoke about Free Comic Book Day on the Graphic Novel Stage.
Free Comic Book Day Panel
We Stalked
And then there were the authors….  I got to talk to Marie Lu (Prodigy/Legend) and SJ Adams (Sparks), Malinda Lo (Ash, Adaptation), and then got mutually stalked by Tim Federle (Better Nate than Never, Tequila Mockingbird). That Guy got to talk with Cory Doctorow (Homeland, Big Brother) and they are sharing emails.
Me and SJ Adams (Adam Selzer)

Me and Marie Lu

Me, That Guy, and his side of the family
Heather, Karen, and me
And I got to meet Heather in person and part of our family came over, so a good time was had by all!  What were your highlights of ALA?

The Twitter Chat Review: Diversity in Legend by Marie Lu, cohosted by author David James

So, I read (actually I listened to) Legend by Marie Lu for last night’s Diversity chat hosted by author David James.  You always hear great things about this series, but I had not yet read it.  To be honest: It was amazing. 

The Goodreads synopsis of Legend states: What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Legend is a superb example of storytelling where the details slowly unfold and you are stunned time and time again by the reveal.  In addition, the world that Lu creates seems not only possible, but a likely outcome if we continue on our current trajectory.  She takes class warfare to new, extreme levels and terrifies with this all too possible vision of what some people will do for power.  And in the midst of it all, she creates strong, rich characters full of complexity and emotion.  Definitely chech this one out.

Below are some of the Tweets from last night’s Twitter chat.

There was one area in which there was some disagreement, diversity about character sexuality.

More on Diversity at TLT:
Racial Stereotyping in YA Literature
Race Reflections, Take II
Building Bridges to Literacy for African American Male Youth Summit recap, part 1
Friday Reflections: Talking with Hispanic/Latino Teens about YA Lit

Book Chat: Diversity in LEGEND by Marie Lu, with guest host author David James

Christie, Stephanie and I work at libraries with a lot of diversity – at least in our patrons.  I don’t know about you, but we find it hard to find a lot of good, quality books that showcase diverse MG and YA teens without being overly stereotypical.  It’s a conversation we have a lot actually, here are some of our posts.

Racial Stereotyping in YA Literature
Race Reflections, Take II
Building Bridges to Literacy for African American Male Youth Summit recap, part 1
Friday Reflections: Talking with Hispanic/Latino Teens about YA Lit

So the other day author David James posted THIS essay about diversity in the Legend series by Marie Lu: On Multiculturalism and Diversity in Marie Lu’s Legend and Diversity.

So, here’s what we are going to do.  In March, please read Legend and Prodigy by Marie Lu.  Then join us on Wednesday, March 27th for an online Twitter Chat with David James as we have our monthly book club and talk Legend and diversity.  Online chat Wedesday, March 27th at 8 PM Central time.

Bio: David James writes books about stars and kisses and curses. He is the author of the YA novel, LIGHT OF THE MOON, the first book in the Legend of the Dreamer series. A novella for the series, THE WARRIOR’S CODE, as well as the sequel, SHADOW OF THE SUN, will be released in 2013. Living in Michigan, he is addicted to coffee, gummy things, and sarcastic comments. He enjoys bad movies and shivery nights, but doesn’t really like writing bios about himself in the third person. Be sure to visit David’s facebook and twitter to learn more about his various addictions and novels.

Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu (reviewed by Chris D)


Legend by Marie Lu was a pretty unconventional choice of reads for me in the sense that it has some pretty strong romantic undertones (you know… actual human feelings.)  But I needed to pull the car out of the ditch and read something with some emotional depth rather than just for a good story.  Fortunately this has both.

In my opinion, you can never go wrong with dystopian, but this one really played to my love of history.  The book takes place, from what I can gather, about 100 years in the future and revolves around the lives of two distinctly different characters living in the flooded remains of Los Angeles, California in the “Republic of America”.  Chapters alternate between the two characters, one being a 15 year old criminal known as Day, trying to save his younger brother from a fatal flu.  The other, June, is a young, prodigious military cadet born into one of the Republic’s elite families.
After some unknown calamity (possibly a global flu pandemic or runaway climate change) the continental US is broken up into two countries; the Republic and the Colonies.  Another faction is mentioned, the Patriots, who seem to be a terrorist organization working against the Republic government.   The constant state of war among the groups reminds me of the civil war and brings to mind other works of fiction concerning a “second civil war,” such as many of the Harry Turtledove novels.

Every child on their tenth birthday takes a “trial,” consisting of physical fitness tests, aptitude tests, and a string of interviews with Republic officials.  Those that pass are assigned various duties of the state (the higher the score, the more prestigious) and those that fail are sent to “work camps.”  What makes June a prodigy is she is the only child in the history of the trials to score a perfect 1500, she flies through college, and is the youngest cadet the military has ever seen. 
The differences between the rich and poor play a big part in this novel and presumably will continue to do so throughout the series.  The elite are given free flu vaccinations each year, have access to education, and tend to have very few worries. While the poor (such as Day’s family) live in squalor, die of the flu, and are denied even the most basic of assistance.  It’s no surprise then that the children most likely to fail the trials and be sent away come from the poor areas of the city.
Raised in an elite, military family June’s loyalty to the Republic is absolute and she is more than happy to perform any duty in the name of “Elector Primo.” But when she is sent undercover to capture Day, the Republic’s most notorious criminal and Robin Hood of Los Angeles, she begins to discover that her country, her superiors, and even her best friend are not what she was raised to believe. Conspiracies and corruption abound and June begins to question her loyalty to the system as she becomes more disillusioned by the actions of those around her.
An enjoyable read and what looks to be a great series forthcoming. It’s in the same ilk as The Hunger Games, Ship Breakers, and Divergent.  Think of it as 1984with a pandemic plague thrown in. 3.5 out of 5 stars.  Make no mistake though; this book has the feel of a movie just waiting to happen.