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TPiB: Humans vs Zombies (Lock-In Version with Doctor Who twist)

v:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} o:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} w:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} .shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);} Twice every year, right around Martin Luther King Jr. weekend and the beginning of school, I hold a lock-in for teens who have reached a particular reading goal. For the Summer Reading Lock-In, they must read 65 hours or more in order to stay 13 hours in our community building. I have the schedule down pretty tight- anything that is a group activity is required, and we always start off the night with a massive game with everyone. This time around, I took inspiration from the guys over at humansvszombies.org and modified what they call a survival or short game to fit what we needed.

And OH, what fun it was. 
Pause between rounds and reconfiguring bandanas

Game in progress

Discussing strategy
The nice thing is that it can definitely be adjusted for a library game for an after hours event, or a large party with minimal effort. 
Really, all you need is bandanas- I added the extras to make it more interesting…

Background Scenario 

Your library is ground zero of a horrific plague. Food from the local gas station was contaminated with a genetic mutation and turn anyone who eats them into a flesh-eating zombie.


No one knew.

  
It took hours for the mutation to take place after eating them, and no one knew until after the library doors were closed for the library’s lock-in/program.  

The zombies currently look like anyone else, but after a while . . .

Participants 
not all Non-combatants may be used in the game

Humans: those who did not eat takis and now must fight the zombie invasion (active participant) 

Zombies: those who did eat the takis and now must try and turn the humans into zombies (active participant) 

Quartermaster(S): person or persons in charge of distributing supplies to the humans. Not zombie food. Marked with a whistle. ( 1-4 players, non-combatant) 

W.h.o. doctor(s): those who will call whether a zombie has infected a human if there is cause for discussion. Marked with a bowtie. (1-4 players, non-combatant) 

U.N. Investigator(s): those who are in charge of making sure game play is fair and safe for all. Marked with a badge. (1-6 players, non-combatant) 

Game Master: person overseeing all game play, punishment, and side quests

For humans 

Goal of the game: survive. The one who is the last to be turned into a zombie is the winner. You wear your bandana on your arms or wrist.

Sock stuns must hit the torso. Zombies are stunned for a count of 10 as demonstrated by the game master.
Humans can form teams of three for survival.
You turn into a zombie if a zombie tags you on the arms, back or legs. You then move your bandana to your head. 

For Zombies

The goal of the game is to turn all of the humans. The game is over when all the humans are dead. You wear your bandana on your head. 

You turn humans by tagging them on the arms, back or legs. No tags on the head, torso, or feet. No flying tags or any other type of tag that will cause injury. 
You can be stunned by the throwing of socks to the torso. You must count to 10 in the manner demonstrated by the game master. Any faster and you will have to start again. 
Zombies can hunt in packs of six. Any more than that and you get confused and wander off by yourselves.


    For the quartermaster
    1-4 players depending

    Your mission is to supply the humans with their only weapon against the zombies, smelly socks left in the lost and found. These weapons stun zombies.
    You must recharge used socks by collecting them from the combat area and taking them to the weapon depot or way station to regain their stun abilities.
    You have immunity from the zombie infection due to your continuous contact with laundry soap.
    You must wear your assigned whistle at all times.
    Humans can carry up to 5 separate socks at a time- you are not allowed to give them more than that.
    Zombies can track your location for a 15 count, so be careful how you get your supplies to humans. You do not want to lead zombies to humans.
    The main weapon depot will be at (designate an area), but you may create up to two more way stations of ammunition at the beginning of the game. You must let the U.N. Investigators know the locations of the way stations.

    For W.H.O. Doctor(S)

    1-4 players Depending

    You are called in to investigate whether or not a human has been turned into a zombie if there is a dispute.
    Humans are turned into a zombie if they are tagged on the arm, leg or back *only*. No other tag is allowed.
    You must wear your assigned bowtie during the entire game play.
    You wander around the entire gameplay area unless otherwise called to a specific area.
    You may give infected humans a chance to earn their life back through the ‘Weeping Angel Challenge’ (see below) 

    The Weeping Angel Challenge:

    Tell the infected human this: You have one chance to gain back your humanity- If you decline, you will become a zombie and must join the ranks of the undead. If you accept the challenge and win, you will become human again. If you accept the challenge and fail, you will die and sit out the rest of the game. What is your answer?

    If they accept the challenge, give them a weeping angel card and tell them to report to the game master. If they decline the challenge, they become a zombie immediately.


    For U.N. Investigator(S)
    1-4 players depending


    You Must wear your assigned badge at all times during gameplay. 
    You wander the site making sure that zombies, humans, W.H.O. doctors, and quartermasters are following the rules. If they are found to not be playing fair, the following penalties will apply:

    Flying tags or other unsafe tags by zombies: immediate death and sent to the game master
    Stunning to the head or other places to cause pain on purpose: send immediately to the game master
    Humans found to be carrying more than 5 socks: immediate turning to zombie.
    Humans in more than squads of 3: immediate disbandment.
    Zombies in more than packs of 6: immediate confusion and wandering alone.
    Zombies counting too fast during stunning: counting to 100.
    Quartermaster supplying too much ammunition: downgrade to human.
    W.H.O. doctor not performing duties: report immediately to game master for punishment

    For the Game Master 

    You are in charge of the ‘weeping angel’ challenge. You will need to have the following equipment in order to discharge your duties: a stopwatch, weeping angel masks, random quests (if desired), a watch/timer (for timed games), an announcement system, infection result cards, bandanas, socks, copies of these instructions for all participants, weeping angels, and other things as devised. 

    Rules of the Games

      • Those who want to be active participants (humans or zombies) need to let the game master know before start of game
      • Game master assigns Bowties to W.H.O. doctors, Whistles to Quartermaster(S), and Badges to U.N. Investigators so all players know who they are. They are then released into the game arena.
      • Active Participants are given their infection status. Humans are immediately sent from the room to meet with the Quartermaster to gain ammunition and form a plan. Zombies meet with each other before brain functions complete disintegrate.
    Weeping Angel Challenge
      
    Scattered around the game play area are weeping angels. You have a certain time limit to bring back ONE (1) angel. Fail and you are dead and must sit out the rest of the game as the angels have gotten you. Succeed and you return to the human race to battle the zombies. You Must wear a weeping angel mask on your head (not necessarily on your face) so that other participants know that you are on a challenge. The first challenge will be set at a particular time. After the first successful challenge is completed, the next person will have to meet or beat that time. The time will keep getting shorter and shorter as the game goes on.
     This game is an adaptation of the original Human vs. Zombies game found here.  Christie adapted the rules to fit her library programming and add her own unique Doctor Who twist with the Weeping Angel challenge. 

    Book Review: Contaiminated by Em Garner

    “They keep them in cages.  The unclaimed. Long rows of narrow, filthy cages lined up along dark corridors lit by bare, hanging bulbs. It’s a harsh, burning smell that hurts the inside of my nose, but it’s better than the reek that wafts up from underneath the odor of cleanser. That smell’s something raw and meaty and moist, something sick.  Like dirty wounds.  Blood and other things.” – opening paragraph 

    Since we are already talking about viruses in Quarantine and have heard from Contaminated author Em Garner earlier today, let’s actually talk about Contaminated, another book that is about a virus, but it so much more.

    It has been two years since a diet drink with genetically modified ingredients started to contaminate people, causing them to become living yet zombie like creatures with a violent streak that puts all of humanity at risk.  The unclaimed, those who have been infected and no one knows what to do with them, are placed in kennels until either a family members claims them or a certain time period passes and they are given what is known as Mercy Mode.  It is in a kennel that 17-year-old Velvet finds her mother.  After bringing her “connie” (short for contaminated) mother home to live with her and her 10-year-old sister, Velvet’s life begins spiraling even further out of control.  They are facing eviction, she finds herself parenting her, her sister and her infected mother, her boyfriend has abandoned her, and she can’t really get her schoolwork done.  And just when thing look hopeful, the world as they have come to know it changes once again, setting us up for the next book in the series.

    Contaminated is a truly unique take on the modern day zombie craze.  These “zombies” aren’t dead but
    infected, yet they still pose a very deadly risk to the world.  And this world is a very much modern day world.  But the most unique thing about Contaminated is that it is an allegory for all the children out there struggling in the modern day world trying to hold their families and lives together in the face of extreme challenges like poverty, neglect, or parental illness.  So many readers will be able to identify with this story.  And while I have bemoaned several times this year how there was a preponderance of rich kids dominating ya lit and asking where the teens who were barely holding it together were, I never thought I would find my answer in such an interesting premise.  And that is the most glorious thing about this book; it is the story of every latch key, poverty, struggling teen told with compassion and wisdom under the veil of a “zombie” story.

    Contaminated also raises interesting questions about how we treat the outliers among us, the sick.  And of course there are lots of interesting discussions to be had about science and the limits of what we know, how what we think we know can change, and the role and reach of our government in the time of a crisis.  It’s really a very discussable and thought provoking book.

    Velvet is a compassionate character, a young lady forced into adulthood way too early, like so many teens are.  Your heart breaks for her. She is strong, fierce, compassionate, wise and yet, a struggling, vulnerable teenage girl.  She is both realistic and an excellent role model.  There are are several awesome supporting characters, including a kind adult and her teenage son, who provides moral support and smooches.

    “I’m anxious and tired and stressed; I have to get home to make sure Opal has her dinner, and I’d like to have some time to watch some terrible television after I’ve finished my homework.  I might even like to try to catch a conversation with Tony before I go to bed.  He complains I don’t have enough time for him, and even though I think he should understand, I know he’s right. And I know that although I don’t need him, I wan him.  I don’t want him to find someone else, a girl who will give him all her attention, a girl who doesn’t have so much else to do.” – page 5

    Contaminated is a very interesting and accessible read.  Great to pair with The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe or the Rot & Ruin series by Jonathan Maberry. It is less violent than many of the zombie novels out there, though it does have its fair share of tense moments to remind you what is at stake, and is safe for younger YAs while still being engaging for older YAs.  I give it 4 out of 5 stars.  Remember, this is not technically a zombie novel but will sit well with those readers.  In many ways, it reminds of Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey if the mom were not an alcoholic but zombie virus infected mom, though it is not told in journal format.  So multi-layered and can be read in many ways by many different types of readers.  Readers looking for intense action and violence should stick with the Quarantine series, but readers willing to go below the surface will relish Contaminated.

    Contaminated by Em Garner.  July 2013 from Egmont USA.  ISBN: 978-1-60684-354-3.


    Zombies! All our undead posts in one place

    As a zombie fan, I have posted here about zombies multiple times.  In preparation for October, I thought I would put them all in one place for you.  I am very considerate like that.  See, I care about you.  They include fun booklists, programming ideas. and a discussion I had with my then pre-teen daughter about why people like zombies.  She was understandably confused on the issue.


    What’s the Deal with Zombies Anyway?


    The post in which I try to explain to my then 8-year-old why people would even be interested in reading and watching these scary, decaying creatures that want to eat your brains.  Spoiler alert: it’s only kind of about the zombies.

    Reading the Zombie Apolcaypse
    A list of amazing zombie reads.  This list is now two years old so you could help us update it by adding your new favorites in the comments.  

    New Zombie Reviews:
    Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
    This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers 
    The Infects by Sean Beaudoin
    Fire and Ash by Jonathan Maberry
    Contaminated by Em Garner
    Sick by Tom Leveen 
    Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi
    Monsters by Ilsa J. Bick
    Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart
    Inhuman by Kat Falls (Fri)


    Fiction Lessons from The Walking Dead by Carrie Mesrobian (coming Wed)

    Zombie Prom
    Stephanie Wilkes talks about her annual Zombie Prom.  All the cool undead kids are doing it.

    TPiB: It’s a Dead Man’s Party
    Cool programming ideas you can do in your library whether you are a zombie or just running from them.

    TPiB: Bring Out Your Dead, zombie party take 2

    Zombies VS. Humans Lock-In, with a Doctor Who twist

    Top 10 Survival Tips I Learned from Reading YA
    Look, my chances are not good in a post-apocalyptic world.  I like to lie in bed, read a book and drink pop with either my air conditioning or heater on.  I don’t like to cook.  I do not take my indoor plumbing for granted.   Should the apocalypse happen, however, I have learned these 10 tips for survival which I am now going to share with you.  See, even zombie books are educational.

    So if you want to talk zombies, leave a comment.  Share your favorite zombie reads, your zombie apocalypse survival tips, programming ideas and more.  And remember, don’t let them eat your brains!

    The One Word to Terrify Them All (a guest post by K. A. Holt)

    On Sunday, March 10th, author K. A. Holt will be visiting my library as part of our Texas Sweethearts and Scoundrels visit.  If you live in or around the Grand Prairie area, please consider stopping by and supporting libraries and authors. Today, author K. A. Holt shares a guest post with us to talk about the one thing that seems to terrify tweens and teens.
    Sometimes I’m afraid that among pre-teen and teen readers there is One Word To Terrify Them All. Or maybe worse: One Word No One Thinks About Until They See It And Then They’re All OH MAN I Don’t Want To Read THAT.

    The word?

    Poetry.

    Wait, wait – don’t run away.

    I’m here to convince you that poetry is not boring. It’s not difficult to read. It’s not snobby or foofy or lame or whatever. I mean, it can be… but it doesn’t have to be.

    I should probably come clean and tell you that I write books in verse. Not all of my books, but some of them. One of my books is about zombies and chupocabras and humans all trying to go to middle school together without eating each other. The whole book is written in haiku. Five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables. Three-lined poems tell the whole story – brain-eating, fights, crushes (both of the romantic kind and the bone-crunching kid) and more. It’s poetry, but it might not be the first thing that pops to mind when you have that “aaargh, a book in poetry, what?!” reaction.
    A zombie novel written in Haiku? Yes please!

    Another book I’ve written (that is tentatively scheduled for release in 2014) is about a bully who rips pages out of library books so he can scratch out words and make messages. You don’t usually think of defacing school property as poetry, and yet… That’s the cool thing about poems. They can be anything you want. It’s just a way to focus words on the most important details of a story.

    You know those bouillon cubes you drop in hot water to make chicken broth? The cube dissolves in the water, leaving trails of salty silt that you stir to make a warm, filling soup. A poem is like a bouillon cube – all the salty goodness of a story is compacted into a tiny space. The hot water is like your brain. Those compacted words seep out of the poem, filling your brain and spreading out into worlds and characters that the author trusts you to help create. Weird analogy? Sure. But kind of true.

    Reading a novel that’s written in verse gives you all the punch and excitement of a prose book (sometimes even more), but with fewer words, fewer pages, and arguably more imagination. You become an important part of the telling of the story because you take those few words and give them life.

    Here are some ya titles written in verse, with a fun poetry activity to do w/teens

    So please, for the sake of zombies and chupocabras and sonnets and free verse, and torn out pages everywhere, don’t freeze up when you see the word “poetry.” Don’t feel harrumphy when you see “novel in verse” on the cover of a book.

    Poetry is beautiful. It’s ugly. It’s exhausting. It’s freeing. It’s simple. It’s complex. It can hold the whole world in just a handful of words.

    Book Inspired by a Poem or Poetry . . .
    Golden by Jessi Kirby comes out in 2013, based on Robert Frost, so very good
    Coming in 2013, and so very brilliant. Great voice.

    Yes, I’m biased, but I want you to be biased, too. Poetry can be anything you want it to be. Not everything can say that. Not everything can live up to that. So give it a whirl and see what you think.

    Sharon Creech, Ron Koertge, Ellen Hopkins, Lisa Schroeder, Sarah Tregay, Sonya Sones, Virginia Euwer Wolff, Linda Oatman High, Caroline Rose, Walter Dean Myers and more, more, more. All of these authors write novels in verse. And so do I.

    Why not pick up a book and give it a try?

    [I totally did not rhyme that last part on purpose. I swear.]

    And more poetry:
    TPiB: Poetically speaking, poetry activities to do with tweens and teens 
    TPiB: Freeing your life with words . . . more poetry activities

    K. A. Holt  is the author of Brains for Lunch and Mike Stellar: Nerves of Steel? You can find out more about her, and her books, by visiting her webpage. It is set up like a comic book and epically cool.

    Book Review: The Infects by Sean Beaudoin

    Zombrule #4
    Survival is for the ruthless.
    Everyone else is a hippie poet.


    Stuck in a wilderness camp for juvenile delinquents, our feckless hero Nick, aka Nero, thinks that things couldn’t possibly get worse. But since you shouldn’t tempt fate, they of course do – when everyone starts eating people.  That’s right, overnight half of the juvies have become flesh eating monsters – oops.  The best part? The reason that Nero is there in the first place might have something to do with it.  But fear not for these kids, they have seen the movies so they know the rules: cardio, barricade and what not.  But knowing the rules may not help, especially when those among you turn in your midst.

    Fans of Zombieland can rejoice – this is a book for you.  The Infects is a fast paced zombie novel with bite, erm literally.  And in the midst of all the zombie fun there is some biting commentary about consumerism, today’s food supply and more.  Also, sorry about all the biting puns. It’s just too easy I tell ya.


    Sean Beaudoin is one of those people that seems to have a razor sharp intellect and a twisting sense of humor with a dash of sharp sarcastic bite that means he had one of two life choices: he could struggle to hold his tongue (probably unsuccessfully) while working a middle management job, or he could write sarcastic zombie novels.  Luckily for us, he is writing sarcastic zombie novels.  There is blood, there is gore, there is flesh torn from the body; but there is also some interesting commentary on things like friendship, the juvie system, and, as I mentioned, consumerism and our food industry.

    Zombies are super popular right now, and this is a fun and interesting addition to your collection.  The action, premise and dialogue are all way out there, in totally fun and entertaining ways. Definitely recommended. The sharp tone and the sarcastic wit of our main character will keep teens reading, while the absurdly out there premise behind the zombie madness makes for some serious (and seriously twisted) fun. Pair this title with A Bad Day for Voodoo by Jeff Strand. 3.5 out of 5 stars.  The awesome Naomi Bates over at YA Books and More says it well, you will “chuckle while cringing.”

    TPiB: Zombie Prom (by Stephanie W)

     In 2010, I decided that I wanted to start having a program that was 1) after-hours, 2) for teens ONLY, and 3) in the Fall.  And so…Zombie Prom was born.

    Zombie Prom is our annual (we’re heading into year #4) Teen Read Week celebration and our annual Teens ONLY party event of the year.

    So, you wanna have your own Zombie Prom?

    I’ll tell you a bit about ours.  Our Zombie Prom is a completely free event for teens ages 12-18.  The teens can pick up permission slips from any of our ten branches and then return them, signed, in exchange for a ticket.  No permission slip…no ticket.  (Click HERE for a sample of our permission slip)  This helps us keep up with how many tickets we are giving out as we limit this event to the first 100 to register.

    Each Friday in the month of October, my YA staff has to call in their number of tickets given out and we keep a running total in my office.  When we reach 80 tickets given out, staff has to call in each time they give away tickets until we hit the happy number of 100.

    Now, for the prom itself.  Our prom consists of three different areas: the dance (in our large meeting room), the food area (in our courtyard), and our photo and makeup area (in another, quieter, part of the building.

    The dance floor is just our meeting room.  We have done different things in regards to how we get our music.  For two of the three years, we rented a system called a Quebbie (or a DJ in a Box), and then relied on my awesome hubby (ex-radio DJ) to be our MC.  The Quebbie comes uploaded with the lastest tracks and you can set up playlists and everything on one piece of equipment, hooked into our speaker system.  One year, we booked an actual DJ.  The Quebbie was cheaper but some of the music was a little old…the DJ was more expensive, but had everything. Then, we open up the floor, line the walls with chairs, and let them dance the night away.  (I’ll get to security/chaperones a little later.)

    Our second area is our food area.  This year, Zombie Prom was held at a branch that had an open air courtyard, so we grilled hot dogs on a grill.  We also served nachos, chips, and we made over 100 red velvet cupcakes with gross green frosting.  We serve Hawaiian Punch poured in giant dispensers.  WORD OF CAUTION: We go through at least 15-25 gallons of punch at each one of these events.  TEENS GET THIRSTY.  So plan to have wayyyy too many drinks or your will have unhappy teens.  For our nachos, hot dogs, and chili, we line up several dozen crock-pots and we have a serving station set up, manned by our staff.

    Our third area is our photo and makeup area.  We offer each teen ‘one free wound’ at Zombie Prom.  Our first two years, we had a volunteer who is a Zombie fanatic come to do makeup for us, assisted by some local college students from our community theatre and a few staffers.  This past year, one of our staff members who is a director at a local community theatre for children and teens had someone come in a teach a makeup workshop for her teens.  Some of these teens actually wanted to do makeup, rather than dance the night away, and they volunteered to help with that.  It takes quite some time to ‘wound’ 100 teens.  We usually have at least 6 volunteers and it takes them about 2 hours to ‘wound’ everyone.  The makeup is purchased from our local Halloween store or made with some of the DIY info on wound found all over the interwebs.

    We also offer one free 5×7 Zombie Prom photo to all attendees.  A husband of one of our staff member’s is a photographer and graciously sets up and takes the pictures for free.  We then take the CD of images and bring them to Wal-Mart and voila…pictures.  These are mailed to the teens up to 15 days after the event.  Our backdrop is nothing more than a cream colored king sized flat sheet that is spray painted with ‘Zombie Prom’ and then doused with fake blood.  Below is a picture of our staff after Zombie Prom in 2011.  The awesome ‘zombie’ staffer on the bottom with her thumbs up is our zombie fanatic volunteer who takes her zombiefication so seriously it would blow your mind.  I’m next to her as Zombie Michael Jackson…I made my nose rot off.  I had a glove. It was fun.  

    Security and stuffs

    So, how is this all done?  Well, I have ten branches and each one of the branches YA staff members work the event.  Then, we always have a few pages or additional staff who BEG to work this event.  THEN, there are several of us who force our husbands to come along.  All in all, we usually have about 20 staff members, our library security guard, and 100 teens in the building.

    We always invite our local law enforcement to come and do a walk-through and just to let them know what is going on at our buildings after hours (after all…some local citizens may get concerned seeing a bunch of bloody teens entering a building) and this past year, I was so pleased and flattered to hear the cop tell me that we had better security than any event he had attended off duty.

    Here are a few of the things we do:

    • All 20 staff members have assigned posts.  There are a few ‘roving’ staff and then myself, who doesn’t have an assigned post at all but just wanders around making sure the place isn’t exploding, but for the most part, the staff members are positioned around all entrances, exits, nooks, crannies, bathroom doors, and then two staff members roam the perimeter of the building at all times.  
    • Once you are in for the night, you don’t leave.  You cannot walk.  You cannot ride your bike home.  You must be picked up by the person stated on your permission form.  If you drive, you cannot just find some friends and bring them home. Our outside staff members who are roaming the perimeter stop at 9:30, when most of the parents start showing up, and go car to car to ask what teen is being picked up.  They then use walkie-talkies and radio inside to our staff and we locate the teen, walk them outside, and the parent has to sign off that they have picked them up.  Sounds harder than it is but it’s a huge relief to the parents because they know we mean business and a huge relief to me…since my job kinda depends on the success or failure of said programs…
    • If you are not picked up by 10:30, 30 minutes after the end of Prom, the cops pick you up.  And it isn’t an empty threat.  And after the first year, they now believe us.

    A few fun extras….

    Each year, we have a Zombie Prom King and a Zombie Prom Queen.  These are usually voted on discreetly by working staff members and go out to the teens who really dressed the best.  We have had the same queen for three years in a row…and we never know it is her until she wins b/c she looks sooooo different each time.  I don’t have a pic of her from this year, where she covered her body and dress in bloody maggots (really rice but still…) but I do have her past two pictures and got permissions to share…

    We also try to do door prizes each year.  The first year, I gave away $25 gift cards to the local Halloween store and some random decorations for Halloween.  The second year, I contacted a few YA authors who had penned zombie books and they sent autographed copies of their books.  Last year, a publisher sent me enough Zombie themed books that everyone went home with something and some of the teens even used them as Zombie Prom Yearbooks and were having other teens sign the endpapers!  No clue what we will do this year but I hope to top off last year!
    And last but not least, we usually have a little break in our 7-8:30 time frame for entertainment.  Year one, we had a group of theatre students flash mob the dance floor and dance to Thriller.  Year two, we had a group of local junior high kids perform their interpretation of Maureen Johnson’s short story in Zombies vs. Unicorns.  And this past year, we had a group of teens learn fight choreography and they staged a ‘fake’ zombie attack.
    Here are some other resources:

    Down the Zombie Hole: Book Review: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

    As part of our Harlequin Teen week, we are re-running this book review for Alice in Zombieland which originally appeared on October 16, 2012.  Also today, Stephanie will be outlining her Zombie Prom activity for you.  Book 2 in the series, Through the Zombieglass, will be released in October of 2013.  This is a great time to hold a zombie prom and read this zombie series.
     
    “She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.”

    Alice Bell thinks her father is crazy and embarrassing, but it turns out he may be right after all.  Alice can’t go out at night. Ever.  Her father claims there are monsters out there that will eat them.  But one night Alice convinces her family to let her beloved sister, Emma, go out for her dance recital and her life changes forever.  The monsters are real.  And now Alice’s family is dead.

    Alice in Zombieland (Book 1 in The White Rabbit Chronicles) by Gena Showalter
    Published 2012 by Harlequin Teen (ISBN: 978-0-373-21058-9)

    “But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything I knew and loved was gone. My name is Alice Bell, and on the night of my sixteenth birthday I lost the mother I loved, the sister I adored and the father I never understood until it was too late.  Until that heartbeat when my entire world collapsed and a new one took shape around me.  My father was right. Monsters walk among us.”



    Alice goes to live with her grandparents and watches out the window every night to try and catch a glimpse of this new world. But it’s not just monsters that come in to her new life, but a best friend named Kat and a group of monster hunters – they call themselves Slayers – that includes the mysterious and yet seemingly delicious boy named Cole.

    You should know, I have a love, hate, LOVE relationship with this book.  And Cole was initially part of my hate period.  When we first meet Cole, we are subjected to all my least favorite tropes of paranormal including “instalove” and can I just say, Cole is initially 1,000 times worse than Edward Cullen.  I didn’t think that was possible, but Cole is broody, menacing, and tries to be oh so controlling.  My initial reaction was this: Alice, do not for one moment think about being attracted to that guy.  As we learn more about Cole there is a softening of his character, but I really wish we could have avoided the message that it’s okay to be attracted to the scary controlling guy because really, you’ll win him over – because in real life, sometimes the scary controlling guy will use his fists and words to really hurt you.  Thankfully, Alice (who insists on being called Ali) has a strong will and stands up to the people in her life and is in many ways a strong lead heroine (after an initial but understandable period of grief and adjustment).  So although this initially really bothered me, Ali really does come into her own and stand up for herself.

    The other problem with this part of the story is that after that initial fantastic opening, the pacing slows down a lot.  But then we get to page 160 and Alice literally slips through the rabbit hole and I could not stop reading.  I was literally trying to figure out if I could read the book and drive home from work (don’t worry, I didn’t actually try).  There is a ton of action, layers of suspense, and some pretty unique twists on the zombie genre.  I don’t want to spoil the big reveals for you, but this is definitely not your typical zombie novel.  Trust me, it is very very very interesting.  I can’t say more.  And don’t read spoilers.  You’ll hate yourself in the morning.

    As part of The Sunnydale Project, I have been talking about books that would be good readalikes for Buffy fans and Alice in Zombieland definitely fits the bill.  Alice will definitely remind fans of Buffy; she is sucked into this bizarro world but takes the bull by the horns eventually and starts fighting the good fight.  She also has that cool, quippy way of speaking in teenage snark.  As you read through Zombieland you will find things that remind you of the Scooby Gang (I love the main friendship in this story), the Initiative (why are there always bad people who want to do bad things with already bad things? There are hazmat suits involved) . . . This book goes right onto my Top 10 list of Buffy Readalikes.

    Alice in Zombieland makes it very clear that we are dealing here with a battle between good and evil, and it pulls no punches.  There are, in fact, some really good references to faith and the spiritual life embedded in our story that give it depth and life without being overly preachy.  Those who are familiar with many elements of world faiths will recognize the nod to the spiritual life in ideas such as the notion that if you believe something enough (i.e. have the faith of a mustard seed), you can make it happen.  There is, in fact, a very interesting discussion of faith in the second half.  And fans of Joss Whedon and Buffy will not be surprised, one of my favorite faith affirming moments ever happened in the Angel episode “Epiphany”.  Deep and meaningful discussions of faith can come in the most surprising packages.

    Kate Lockley: I think maybe we’re not alone in this.
    Angel: Why?
    Kate Lockley: Because I never invited you in.
    Said after the vampire Angel went in and saved Kate whose house he has never been invited into.
    Angel, “Epiphany” (2001)

    Other things you need to know:

    Alice’s grandparents are such fun characters and you will love their attempts to speak in teen slang and the way that they drill Alice’s “boyfriends”. (“Complete this sentence, No means . . .”

    Alice’s BFF Kat is a fun character that lends a lot of heart to this book.  Everyone reading will want a BFF like Kat.  Also, both Alice and Kat are good representations of strong female characters that are still human and flawed.

    Like Buffy, there is a lot of accurate representation of the high school life here.  Alice and co. may be beating back zombies at night, but that sometimes is nothing compared to the brutality of the rumor mill.

    There is frank discussion of sex here.  But it is healthy discussion and even mentions using protection and how it changes a relationship.  I actually appreciated the things they had to say here and how they were presented.

    There is violence and gore here, obviously.

    Alice in Zombieland is not a perfect book, but I think in the end most readers will come away loving it.  There are plenty of unique twists and elements that set Alice in Zombieland apart and will engage readers.  I think there are some pacing issues, the first half drags and the second half the action just flies by and leaves you wanting more.  One final note: this is not a literal re-imagining of the Alice in Wonderland story; it is clearly influenced by and makes some subtle references to Carol’s story, but this is no Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  I love how the white rabbit and his clock are incorporated into the story. 

    In the end I give Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter 3.5 out of 5 stars and I do recommend it.  Flawed but definitely a compelling read and an interesting world with plenty of swoon and action for most readers.  I will be anxiously awaiting the sequel Through the Zombie Glass (set for release in October 2013).

    This book goes straight to my Top 10 list of reads for Buffy fans.  Remember Buffy fans, even season one of Buffy was a little bit sketchy.

    TPiB: Beneath the Surface Ideas for Tweens/Teens

    Ah, February…  the time when every teen services specialist thinks of candy hearts, chocolate tastings, and OMG, we have HOW MANY DAYS UNTIL SUMMER?!?!??!  Do not fear!  We at Teen Librarian Toolbox have not one, not two, but EIGHT different ideas that would fit in with the 2013 Collaborate Summer Reading Program Theme (Beneath the Surface & Dig Into Reading)…

    I happen to be in charge of everything (splitting the youth portion with my part time youth services librarian) and have had tremendous success with tween programs.  So for the summer I’m alternating between tween and teen nights.  However, any of these ideas can be aged up or down depending on your library, and what works for your patrons.  What works for me and mine may not work for you and yours.

    Note:  All movie suggestions have been cleared through Movie Licensing USA, which is where my system gets their umbrella license.  If you do not have a public performance license, please use movies in the public domain.  Do not have the authorities pounding down your door.  Also, while the MPAA ratings are a guideline and not law, no movies suggested go above PG-13.

     

    Superheros/secret identities 

    • Movie suggestions: DC Superheroes featuring Superman, Green Lantern, Batman– the first week of June Man of Steel is released in theaters so it would be a good tie in.  Marvel superheroes like The Avengers or Iron Man as Iron Man 3 will have been released in early May.

    • Craft suggestions:  create your own superhero emblem and place in a photo keychain, or utilize the system’s buttonmaker (start preparing the arm muscles), or get mask blanks and let them design their own costume piece

    • Game suggestions:  pin the cape on the superhero, name the secret identity, create your own superhero, get your own superhero name,  Marvel Monopoly

    Zombies

    • Movie Suggestions: anything zombie related, like Invasion of the Body Snatchers or I am Legend (World War Z is released June 20)

    • Craft suggestions: create your own zombie heads with blank kickballs (hacky sacks for those of us who remember), or create a little felt zombie with some scraps and a house out of leftover candy tins.  Or check out Zombie Felties for a real craft project. 

     

    Law enforcement

    • Movie Suggestions: The Lone Ranger comes out July 3, so you could pull in the western aspect with Wild Wild West, or go full force with S.W.A.T. or uber mysterious with Total Recall (2012)

    • Craft suggestions:  rattlesnake pulls, ID badges, finger print cards, create your own wanted poster

    • Game suggestions: Live Clue, mystery scavenger hunts, assassin

    Shark week

    • Movie Suggestions: Really, what else is there but Jaws or the sequels? 

    • Craft suggestions: baby food jars plus plastic sharks=shark globes, or make your own shark teeth necklaces, design a shark bite

    • Game suggestions: shark bite tag, feed the shark (bean bag toss), shark volley


    Minecraft

    • Movie Suggestion:  Wreck-It Ralph. Yes, seriously.  Yes, they are both video games, but if you have ever seen Minecraft, they build and build and build, and then take it down and tear it apart and then build and build and build.

    • Craft suggestions:  create your own Steve masks, fold your own Minecraft printables, build your own creepers

    • Game suggestions: Live Minecraft (gather boxes to build the fort, have some tweens be builders, and some be creepers and destroyers- see who wins), Creeper Bowling, after hours Minecraft gameplay

    Dinosaurs

    •  Movie Suggestions:  Jurassic Park, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Godzilla

    • Craft Suggestions:  Create your own dinosaur fossils, dinosaur bones out of pasta, design your own dinosaur heads

    • Game suggestions: bean bag toss with dinosaur eggs, hot dinosaur egg (hot potato), Lava tug-o-war between the herbivores and the carnivores

    Mummies

    • Movie Suggestions: The Mummy, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Hotel Transylvania, Corpse Bride, Jumangi

    • Craft Suggestions:  create your own mummies cardboard tube mummies, potato chip tube mummies, create your own tombs (Check out the hieroglyphics section on this Art Through the Ages TPiB)

    • Game Suggestions: Musical chairs (Walk Like an Egyptian, King Tut, etc.), Mummy wrapping, hieroglyphics codes 

    Spy party

    • Movie Suggestions:  Spy Kids, Inspector Gadget, James Bond movies or the Austin Powers series

    • Craft Suggestions: recyclables to make their own gadgets, finger printing, disguise printables

    • Game Suggestions: disguise relay races, spy training obstacle courses, hide and seek, assassin

      Adapt ideas from this CSI themed TPiB

    The post where Jonathan Maberry helps me impress my husband (An Author Interview)

    
    The Mr. will make this shocked face!
    The Challenge


    This is the true story of how the following post came to be.  Earlier this year, Lois Lowry did a guest post here at TLT and I went home exploding in excitement to my husband. “Who’s Lois Lowry?”, he asked.  So, after realizing that I had failed him as a librarian, I mentioned that she was a 2-time Newbery winning author.  You know, the author of The Giver (it turns out, he has never read it.) So, he looked at me and said, “If you can get Jonathan Maberry to do a guest post, then I will be impressed.”  He obviously is a huge fan of Jonathan Maberry.  And Mr. Maberry was kind enough to help me impress my husband by doing this interview here at TLT.  So thank you!  I promise, I will gloat.

    So, to my zombie loving husband, I present you with an interview with Jonathan Maberry. Be impressed!

    On Writing, and Reading, Horror
    TLT: What draws you to writing horror? And zombies?

    Jonathan Maberry. And Jonathan Maberry as a zombie.
    JONATHAN MABERRY: I came to horror by several converging routes. As a kid I was partly raised by my grandmother, who was very knowledgeable about what she called ‘the larger world’. She taught me about the myths, legends and (to her) beliefs in supernatural creatures of all kinds. By the time I was old enough to watch my first Hammer Horror flick I already knew about Redcaps, church Grimms, the Russian Liho, the White Ladies of Fau, the loup garou and other critters.

    However when I was thirteen my middle school librarian –who was also the secretary for several clubs of professional writers—introduced me to a number of notable genre authors. Two of them –Ray Bradbury and Richard Matheson—taught me a lot about the worlds of horror and fantasy. And for Christmas one year, Bradbury gave me a signed copy of SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES and Matheson gave me a signed copy of the 1954 edition of I AM LEGEND.

    As for zombies…when I was ten I snuck into the old Midway Theater in Philadelphia on October 2, 1968 to see the world premiere of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. I was terrified and enchanted at the same time. 

    On Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse and the Popularity of Zombies


    TLT: What have you learned from your books about surviving the zombie apocalypse? What should we do and what should we not do?

    JONATHAN MABERRY: I’ve spent more than a reasonable amount of time thinking about the zombie apocalypse since I was a kid. So, by the time I got around to writing about zombies in books like ZOMBIE CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead, PATIENT ZERO, ROT & RUIN and DEAD OF NIGHT, I already had a workable plan.


    My first move would be to make some protective gear out of carpet and duct tape. You can’t bite through it –I checked with forensic ondontologists (bite experts). Then I’d grab my wife and my katana, a weapon I’ve been training with and teaching for nearly fifty years, and head out to the nearest food distribution center. Those buildings are huge, they have few windows, they have trucks, they have their own back-up generators and they have enough food and supplies to outwait anything. Using that as a base, I’d round up survivors, a tanker truck of gasoline, more weapons, and we’d start making plans.

    TLT: Why do you think zombies are so popular right now?


    JONATHAN MABERRY: Aside from the usefulness of zombies as metaphors for telling virtually any kind of threat-based story, the genre has had a bump because writers (screen, TV, prose and comics) have finally learned what makes a zombie story work. And, no, it’s not zombies.  The best zombie stories are about people. Human beings who are in the middle of a massive shared calamity. If you start there, with a story about people in threat, then you can go anywhere you want dramatically.  If, on the other hand, you focus on the zombie, the story often collapses into cliché. As writers…we now get that.

    TLT: What books have made you afraid to turn off the light?

    JONATHAN MABERRY: There is one book that has always scared the bejeezus out of me, and it still does: THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson. It’s flawless, and it invites the reader to participate in the development of the horror. The other books that continue to give me shivers even after multiple re-reads are ‘SALEM’S LOT by Stephen King, GHOST STORY by Peter Straub, MYSTERY WALK by Robert McCammon, and THE MANITOU by Graham Masterton.
    On Turning Your Books into a Movie


    TLT: Everyone at TLT is a huge fan of the Rot & Ruin series, I am very excited that it has been optioned and should soon be coming to the movie screen. What is the optioning process? And what role will you be playing in the movie development?

    JONATHAN MABERRY: An ‘option’ means that a producer –or in this case, a team of producers and actors—have leased the rights to develop a script and shop it around in order to raise funds. Once they have a commitment from backers, then they buy the film rights and go into active production.

    As for my involvement in the film version of ROT & RUIN, that’s still to be determined, though the producers, actor (who will play Tom Imura), and screenwriter are in frequent touch with me. We have long, rambling creative discussions by phone. And I can tell you this much…so far they seem to see the story the same way I do. Granted a 90-minute movie is not going to include everything that’s in the book, but the version they’re constructing seems to be very much in keeping with how I imagine the film.

    On Guys and Reading


    TLT: As a teen librarian, it seems like we are often asking ourselves “how do we get teen guys to read?” What type of a reader were you as a teen? What really moved or entertained you? How do you incorporate who you were as a teen reader into writing for teens today?

    JONATHAN MABERRY: I was always a reader. Except for when I was with my creepy grandmother I had a rather horrible childhood. Books were my escape, and I read absolutely everything. By the time I was in fourth grade I was reading Ed McBain, Robert E. Howard, Sheridan Le Fenu, Robert Bloch, and others. In the sixties and seventies I burned through everything by Edgar Rice Burroughs, all of the Bantam Books reprints of Doc Savage, John D. MacDonald, and anyone else I could get my hands on.  Reading was not my challenge in school. Math was my kryptonite.

    Now, understand…I knew I wanted to be a writer since before I could actually read. When I was little I told stories with toys. So reading was a natural part of that. However I also read an enormous amount of nonfiction. I liked knowing the nuts and bolts behind something. So, if I real a cop novel, I’d then read true-crime books. If I read science fiction I’d look for books and articles on rocketry, robotics, space exploration, and so on.  I guess I’m still like that.

    When I meet teens who are ‘reluctant readers’, I usually spend some serious time finding out what they’re interested in. If they don’t want to pick up a novel, I recommend comics, audio books, and even movies. Particularly movies based on books. If they dig the movie, they’re more likely to want to back-track to see the original story.

    I don’t know if my reading habits influence the way I write for teens, but it certainly gives me a basis for good conversation with teens. I ask what they’re reading and we discuss those books and soon we’re geeking out on books in general.

    TLT: What do you wish teen guys knew about reading?

    JONATHAN MABERRY: Reading is power. Reading gives you power and helps your power to grow. Since I had a rough home life, I had no role models worth following. I learn my core values from comics and novels. I tell kids that. I also explain that I’m largely self-educated. Sure, I went to college, but I know far more about life, the world, and my place in it because of the thing I chose to read rather than books that were assigned to me. I talk to teen boys about what strength, courage and toughness really mean, and I can draw on examples from fiction and nonfiction.  And I explain how knowledge allows you to imagine solutions and opportunities that can help you out of any tough spot. That’s been a great basis for meaningful conversations with teen guys and me.
    For more on guys and reading, see Show Me How to Live and visit Guys Read

    TLT: Rot & Ruin is my go-to recommendation for a wide variety of readers, including guys. Thank you for that, by the way. What would be some other great recommendations?

    JONATHAN MABERRY: I love Dan Wells’ books, particularly I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER. Brilliant. Naturally S.E. Hinton’s books are timeless classics. James Dashner’s MAZE RUNNER books. Markus Zusak’s THE BOOK THIEF.  LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green. THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO by Patrick Ness. Anything by Garth Nix. And, I recommend that boys read up. Read Stephen King’s THE STAND or THE DARK TOWER Series. Grab Roger Zelazny’s brilliant CHRONICLES OF AMBER or Frank Herbert’s DUNE.

    But I also recommend to teen guy readers to occasionally pick up books that are popular with girls. When you read what they read, it’s easier to understand how they think and feel.

    On What’s Next


    TLT: Will Rot & Ruin be getting the graphic novel treatment?

    JONATHAN MABERRY: Once the movie is actually getting close to release we’ll probably do something with a comic or graphic novel. We’re also discussing a video game, and a collectible card game based on the Zombie Cards.

    On Visiting Schools and Libraries


    TLT: I would love to sit down and talk with you about the characters and situations in Rot & Ruin, but I don’t want to overwhelm you with questions or get to spoilery. But I know you have done school and bookstore visits, what does an author get from doing these type of visits and interacting with readers? And do you have a school or library visit that you would like to share?

    JONATHAN MABERRY: Visiting schools is such incredible fun. They’re all different because kids are different, and because schools have their own personalities.  Usually, though, I talk about my own rather weird path and some of the things I’ve done and experienced. You never know what’s going to connect with the teens who come to hear you talk. Sometimes it’s my background in martial arts that opens the door. Sometimes it’s my anecdotes about being a bodyguard in the entertainment industry (and being shot at, stabbed and run over!). Or being a singer/songwriter in the world heavy metal band in the history of bad music. Or writing for Marvel Comics. Or whatever. I talk and I allow questions right from the jump. We always have a good time.

    Usually at least one kid in the audience will ask a challenging question in hopes of putting me on the spot. But I always respect the question and the questioner. And often that’s the point at which we dive deep into a real conversation.

    I love school library visits. I’ve been doing them all over the country and it’s my favorite part of being a writer in the Young Adult genre.

    Teen Librarian Toolbox: And finally, don’t you want to say “neener neener” to my The Mr.? (I am just kidding with this one 🙂 )

    JONATHAN MABERRY: Dude…you didn’t think your wife could snag an interview with me. But, hey…check it out.  (Haven’t you learned that wives have super powers?)

    Thank you so much to Jonathan Maberry for this moment.  We are huge fans at my house AND at my library, and I really did want some pointers on surviving the zombie apocalypse.

    Jonathan Maberry is the New York Times bestselling and multiple Bram Stoker Award winning author of multiple novels for teens and adults, including the Rot & Ruin series and Joe Ledger series.  If you haven’t read them, check them out.  You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanMaberry.  You can also “like” him on Facebook.

    All the places Jonathan Maberry is mentioned on TLT:
    Book Review: Rot & Ruin
    Book Review: Flesh & Bone
    Reading the Zombie Apocalypse
    What’s the Deal with Zombies Anyway?
    Top 10 Tips for Surviving the Apocalypse

    Please feel free to leave a comment telling Jonathan Maberry how much you love his books.  Or to leave The Mr. a “neener neener” in the comments.

    These are a few of my favorite reads: the 2012 Karen edition

    Raindrops on roses and zombies eating kittens,
    Bright copper boys and warm fuzzy kisses,
    Page after page, turning with need
    These are a few of my favorite reads . . .



    MG Reads, approved by my tween
    The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
    Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
    Wonder by R J Palacio
    The Cavendish Home for Boys &Girls by Claire Legrand
    Whatever After: Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski
    (the complete top 10 post is here)

    Heartwarming Reads
    Guitar Notes by Mary Amato
    The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
    Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
    The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
    Wonder by R J Palacio

    The Books That Make You Go Hmmm (aka Thoughtful Reads)
    Ask the Passengers by A. S. King
    Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown
    The Downside of Being Charlie by Jenny Torres Sanchez
    The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
    Speechless by Hannah Harrington

    Mindbending Reads (aka What the Heck is Happening Here?)
    The Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby
    Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
    Every Day by David Levithan
    BZRK by Michael Grant
    Through to You by Emily Hainsworth

    Sci Fi Awesomeness
    The Future We Left Behind by Mike A. Lancaster
    BZRK by Michael Grant
    Crewel by Gennifer Albin
    Insignia by S J Kincaid
    Across the Universe/A Million Suns by Beth Revis

    Dystopian Worlds I Wouldn’t Want to Live In, But Love to Read About
    Delirium/Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
    Starters by Lissa Price
    Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
    Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
    Unwind/Unwholly by Neal Shusterman

    Grrr, Arrr . . . Brains . . . Nom, Nom (Zombie Reads)
    Rot & Ruin series by Jonathan Maberry
    This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
    Ashes/Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick
    Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

    Reality Bites, But These Books Rock
    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
    Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein
    Speechless by Hannah Harrington
    Skinny by Donna Cooner

    Literary Masterpieces
    Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
    Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

    Riddle Me This, Batman (Mysteries)
    I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
    The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
    Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

    Fantastic Fantasies
    Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
    Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

    These Girls Kick Ass
    Ashes/Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick
    Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
    The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
    Stormdancer (The Lots War Book One) by Jay Kristoff

    These Guys Do Too
    Hold Me Closer, Necromancer/Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride
    Quarantine, book 1: The Loners by Lex Thomas
    Tap Out by Eric Devine
    Dodger by Terry Pratchett

    Books That Can Make Even Me Like History
    Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
    The Diviners by Libba Bray

    Pop Spewing Reads (aka Dude, I think I just peed myself aka Book That are Side Splitting Funny)
    Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
    A Bad Day for Voodoo by Jeff Strand
    The Necromancer series by Lish McBride
    Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

    Best Road Trips of the Year
    In Honor by Jessi Kirby
    The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

    Just Pure Aweseomeness (My top 5 of the Year – today)
    The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
    The Diviners by Libba Bray
    Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
    Ask the Passengers by A. S. King
    Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver