October 26, 2008

It was a dark and stormy night...

There are certain novels, the first lines of which everybody knows. "Call me Ishmael." "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." Even if you haven't ever read Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities or 1984, chances are you know how they begin.

Teen novels aren't without their great first lines either--the kind of lines that suck you in and make you want to keep reading. Some of my favorites are below. Do you recognize them? Click to see if you're right.

Once upon a time there was a pair of pants.

When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it's never good news.

The thing about a cavity search is this: it has nothing to do with the dentist.

We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.

Getting punched in the face is a singular experience. I highly recommend it to anyone who is a little too cocky, obnoxious, or insensitive.

The gunman is useless.

What are some of your favorite first lines?

October 2, 2008

So what do YOU think was the best book?

From the American Library Association...

Teens' Top Ten is a "teen choice" list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country.

If you read nominated books throughout the year, you’ll be ready to vote for your favorites during Teen Read Week, October 12 - 18, 2008.

So what do you think? Which of these books is the best? Check one out today and make your vote count.

Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Tessa, who has terminal cancer, creates a list of ten things she wants to do in
the months she has left to live. This fierce and devastating novel explores end-of-life realities with honesty and grace.

Betrayed by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird has accepted her powers and role as Leader of the Dark Daughters. But too soon the people Zoey cares about from her old life are in danger, and it looks like the House of Night is killing human teenagers.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizarre world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.

Daemon Hall by Andrew Nance
Famous horror story writer R. U. Tremblin comes to the town of Maplewood to hold a short story writing contest, offering the five finalists the chance to spend what turns out to be a terrifying--and deadly--night with him in a haunted house.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship.

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
Bella must choose between her friendship with Jacob and her relationship with Edward, but when Seattle is ravaged by a string of killings, the three of them need to decide whether their personal lives are more important than the well-being of an entire city.

Extras by Scott Westerfeld
Fifteen-year-old Aya Fuse, an Extra, just wants to lay low, so when she discovers the secret lives of the Sly Girls, she wants to report their story, but she knows that would propel her into a celebrity status she's not prepared for.

Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks
Child prodigy Cadel Piggot, an antisocial computer hacker, discovers his true identity when he enrolls as a first-year student at an advanced crime academy.

Genesis Alpha by Rune Michaels
Brothers Josh and Max have an unusually strong relationship since it was Josh’s harvested stem cells that were used to save his dying older brother’s life. But when Max is accused of murder, Josh considers his own role in Max’s path of life.

Glass by Ellen Hopkins
Kristina is determined to defeat her addiction to crack in order to keep her newborn child, but when she is unable to manage her use of the drug and the pull becomes too strong, her greatest fears are quickly realized.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Voldermort is ruthless in his pursuit of the trio, but Harry, Ron, and Hermione have honed their magical skills in the past six years and are ready for battle.

Ironside: A Modern Faery's Tale by Holly Black
As the possessor of Roiben's true name, sixteen-year-old Kaye returns to Faeryland to try and complete a nearly-impossible quest that will release him from the spell of the faery queen who holds him in thrall.

Jango by William Nicholson
Seeker, the Wildman, and Morning Star discover that the mysterious warrior sect they had been so desperate to join is not quite what it appears from the outside.

Jinx by Meg Cabot
Jean "Jinx" Honeychurch, the descendant of a witch, must leave Iowa to live with relatives in Manhattan after the first spell she casts goes awry, but she will have to improve her skills to stop her cousin from practicing black magic which endangers the boy they both like.

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
In Manhattan in 1899, five teens of different social classes lead dangerously scandalous lives, despite the strict rules of society and the best-laid plans of parents and others.

Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson
The time has come for Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel to face their ultimate enemy and, despite many obstacles, try to save the world from a sinister plan to re-engineer a select population into a scientifically superior master race.

Penelope by Marilyn Kaye
Penelope Wilhern has everything a girl could want: A wealthy, socialite family, an enchanted bedroom and some of the coolest clothes around. There is only one problem: She was born into a cursed family and has the face of a pig.

Saving Zoe by Alyson Noel
Instead of a fresh start, high school provides more grief and isolation to Echo, whose older sister died a year earlier, but insights gained from Zoe's diary about her sister's life and death change Echo in ways she could have never expected.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
A girl travels east of the sun and west of the moon to free her beloved prince from a magic spell.

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
At Spence Academy, Gemma Doyle continues preparing for her London debut while struggling to determine how best to use magic to resolve a power struggle in the enchanted world of the realms, and to protect her own world and loved ones.

Tamar by Mal Peet
In England in 1995, Tamar, grief-stricken by the puzzling death of her beloved grandfather, begins to uncover the secrets of his life during the last year of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, and the climactic events that forever cast a shadow on his life and that of his family.

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
After finally getting noticed by someone other than school bullies and his ever-angry father, seventeen-year-old Tyler enjoys his tough new reputation and the attentions of a popular girl, but then life starts to go bad again...

Unwind by Neal Shusterman
In a future world where those between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can have their lives "unwound" and their body parts harvested for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to uphold their beliefs and, perhaps, save their own lives.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Two years after a horrible incident made them run away, vampire princess Lissa and her guardian-in-training Rose are found and returned to St. Vladimir's Academy, where both try to avoid the perils of gossip, cliques, pranks, and sinister plots.

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Seventeen-year-old Aislinn, who has the rare ability to see faeries, is drawn against her will into a centuries-old battle between the Summer King and Winter Queen, and the survival of her life, her love, and summer all hang in the balance.

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
Five sisters who live with their merchant father in Transylvania use a hidden portal in their home to cross over into a magical world, the Wildwood.