March 6, 2014
What is it? Are you experiencing information overload? Consider the Flipboard app, a free service that organizes your favorite materials into a personal magazine. Social media tools, news, blogs, and other favorites are all organized into one accessible app. It is available on most of the main platforms, listed and linked below:
Android: via Google Play, software requirements will vary with device
iPad & iPhone (optimized for iPhone 5): iOS 5.0+
Kindle: only on Kindle Fire
NOOK: only on Color, Tablet, and HD devices
Windows: requires Windows 8.1
Want more information? Take a look at the developer website.
Pros: It has a magazine-like interface. It connects to well-known social media platforms. It is free.
Cons: It has limited searching capabilities. Also, there are ads (as with other free apps, this is one of their monetizing efforts). One of the disappointing features is that the bookmark option is only for the Google Chrome browser.
I’d recommend this to: high school students that would like to keep up with their news in one place.
Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)
March 5, 2014
by Paul Rudnick
When eighteen-year-old Becky Randle’s mother dies, she’s summoned from her Missouri trailer park to meet Tom Kelly, the world’s top designer. He makes her an impossible offer: He’ll create three dresses to transform Becky from a nothing special girl into the most beautiful woman who ever lived.
Becky thinks Tom is a lunatic, or that he’s producing a hidden camera show called World’s Most Gullible Poor People. But she accepts, and she’s remade as Rebecca. When Becky looks in the mirror, she sees herself – an awkward mess of split ends and cankles. But when anyone else looks at Becky, they see pure five-alarm hotness.
Soon Rebecca is on the cover of Vogue, the new Hollywood darling, and dating celebrities. Then Becky meets Prince Gregory, heir to the British throne, and everything starts to crumble. Because Rebecca aside, Becky loves him. But to love her back, Gregory would have to look past the blinding Rebecca to see the real girl inside. And Becky knows there’s not enough magic in the world. (from Goodreads)
Why I picked it up: A friend I follow on Goodreads gave it high marks and I trust her opinion. She has never led me wrong on book recommendations.
Why I finished it: It started off a little slow but I stuck with it and it paid off. Initially, I was a little put off by the story’s style and tone, but as Becky becomes Rebecca, the story spun wildly out of control in the best way possible and I just held on for the ride. And what I got was a fantastically comical tale that tears apart our celebrity-worshiping, appearance-obsessed culture while hinting at a much bigger question – is true beauty really in the eye of the beholder?
I’d give it to: Anyone who appreciates satirical stories filled with outrageous humor. Gorgeous is a one part Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens, one part Adam Rex’s The True Meaning of Smekday, and one part pure originality.
I’d give it: 4 stars
Reviewed by: Trish (Schimelpfenig Library)
March 3, 2014
The Runaway King
Jennifer A. Nielsen
A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive? Find out in the highly anticipated sequel to Jennifer A. Nielsen’s blockbuster THE FALSE PRINCE!
Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?
The stunning second installment of The Ascendance Trilogy takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of treason and murder, thrills and peril, as they journey with the Runaway King! [from Goodreads]
I stumbled across The False Prince, the first novel in the Ascendance Trilogy, sitting on the Lone Star shelf (it was on the 2013 Texas Lone Star Reading List) and loved it! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next book!
After I first started reading The Runaway King, I will admit I was slightly disappointed. The first book seemed to have a bit more mystery to it that was lacking in this next installment. Once I got into the book more though, I started to really enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the first one. There might not be as much mystery, but there is probably even more action in this second book. The author also does a great job of keeping Jaron’s personality the same throughout both books, yet he still seems to mature.
I give it: 4 Stars
The third and final installment of The Ascendance Trilogy, The Shadow Throne was recently released on February 25, 2014.
Reviewed by: Jacquline (Schimelpfenig Library)
March 1, 2014
We have a signed copy of Bitter Blood (The Morganville Vampires series) by Rachel Caine for one lucky reader of the teen blog. This title was published in 2013.
Thanks to the eradication of the parasitic creatures known as the draug, the vampires of Morganville have been freed of their usual constraints. With the vampires indulging their every whim, the town’s human population is determined to hold on to their lives by taking up arms. But college student Claire Danvers isn’t about to take sides, considering she has ties to both the humans and the vampires.
To make matters worse, a television show comes to Morganville looking for ghosts, just as vampire and human politics collide. Now Claire and her friends have to figure out how to keep the peace without ending up on the nightly news…or worse. (Taken from the cover).
To participate in the drawing for this book, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with Bitter Blood in the subject line. Include your phone number and the Plano library branch where you would like to pick up the book. One must be a resident of Plano, Texas in order to qualify for the monthly book giveaway. We will have a drawing for the winner of the give-away on Saturday, March 15, 2014.
February 27, 2014
Check out the freebies we will be raffling off at the Divergent program on March 12th! T-shirts, sweaters, movie posters and more!
And if you want to see the movie before it hits theaters, come by the Haggard Library in the next few days and pick up a ticket to the special red carpet screening at Cinemark West Plano. It will be Tuesday, March 4th. Red carpet starts at 6:30, and the movie starts at 7:30. Seating at the screening will be first-come, first-serve and is not guaranteed, so even if you get a ticket, make sure you get there early to claim your seat!
February 26, 2014
Six Months Later
By Natalie D. Richards
She has everything she’s ever wanted. But not her memory…
When Chloe fell asleep in study hall, it was the middle of May. When she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can’t remember the last six months of her life.
Before, she’d been a mediocre student. Now, she’s on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he’s her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won’t speak to her.
What happened to her? Remembering the truth could be more dangerous than she knows…
(Summary from back cover of book.)
Why I picked it up:
The summary on the back cover intrigued me plus the front cover was a photograph of a teenage girl looking rather lost in the snow. It’s a book that begs to be read during the winter! Or in the summer when the thought of winter will help you cool off!
Why I finished it:
This is an intense psychological thriller with very well developed characters and a plot that totally immerses the reader from the very first page. A reviewer for Publisher’s Weekly said it best when he refers to Six Months Later as having “the feel of a high-stakes poker game in which every player has something to hide, and the cards are held until the very end.”
I’d give it to:
Lovers of suspense novels with a touch of romance. Especially fans of Gayle Forman’s If I Stay and Lissa Price’s Starters series. Perfect for grades 9 and up!
I’d give it:
Reviewed by: Connie (Parr Library)
February 25, 2014
The Outsiders (Film)
Director by: Francis Ford Cappola
Distributed by: Warner Brothers
Released: March 25, 1983
Running Time: 91 minutes
Starring: C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Diane Lane, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise, and Leif Garret
I enjoyed this film that was adapted from the 1967 book by S. E. Hinton. It is a vivid and sometimes disturbing depiction of life among young adults and teenagers of the 1950s. There is also an unspoken segregation of class level between the preppy privileged Socs, and the disadvantaged rebellious Greasers. This film is unforgettable in its ability to reach and identify with coming of age teens and young adults. It is a must see classic.
Annette (Davis Library)
February 24, 2014
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is a first person narrative told in 24 hours. It is the story of Leonard, a very depressed, angry, suicidal teen who brings a gun to school on his 18th birthday. He plans to kill Asher Beal, and then himself. But, before he can do so, he has 4 presents to give to the few people he cares about.
Leonard does not come from a healthy, loving family. He is also a voiceless victim of a horrible crime that his mother chose to blatantly ignore. While reading this book I understood Leonard’s feelings of not having control of his life, hopelessness, and need for one loving or reassuring sign that could change everything.
This book reminded me of what it felt like to be a teenager, riding that fence between youth and adulthood yet feeling completely out of control of one’s immediate life or future. I wanted to hug Leonard, reassure him that high school isn’t a pleasant experience* (for most), and by god it does get better! I want to tell this to all teenagers that might be having a hard time. Amid all of the feelings of hopelessness there is hope because you, fellow human, are the designer of your destiny.
“This is one of the most important books of our time.” -A.S. King, author of Reality Boy
February 22, 2014
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
It’s here: the final book in the Divergent trilogy!
Tris and Four journey outside the boundary of the factions and the factionless to the bureau, the government that controls all the factions as experiments. There’s also a new plot line involving genetic purity. There is a lot going on in this one, but that kept it interesting. I think if I looked very closely at the plot, there would be a lot of holes, but I was just enjoying the ride. The author brings up some different themes, touching on how your genes affect you, how society works best to keep anarchy at bay, and how love is sacrificial.
I liked that Tris and Tobias have a more mature relationship in this book, trying to keep a careful balance of equality, and staying accountable to each other. The reader also sees a more vulnerable side of Tobias.
I was not a fan of the second book, Insurgent, so I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this last book and found it to be a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. If you’ve not read the first two books in this series, you’ll definitely want to do that in order to understand what’s going on in this one. This dystopian trilogy will appeal to anyone who enjoyed The Hunger Games.
Divergent, the first book in the series, will be released as a movie on March 21. Stay tuned to this blog for information on giveaways!
Divergent Party at Haggard Library (for teens in grades 6-12) on March 12, 3-4pm
February 20, 2014
Are you getting excited about the release of the Divergent movie? SO ARE WE! Come to Haggard Library on March 12th from 3-4pm to celebrate! Dress in your favorite faction colors and do crafts and activities based on all five factions. We’re also going to have some fun giveaways at the program.
And if you just can’t wait that long, stay tuned on the blog next week for some more exciting Divergent news. We promise you’ll find it exciting too.