EVPL Communities: KickinLibrarian@evpl's Blog Postshttp://evpl.org/community/blogs/All of KickinLibrarian@evpl's blog posts on the EVPL Communities site.en-USCommunityServer 2008 SP1 (Build: 30619.63) <![CDATA[The Hunger Games Series! ]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2011/08/12/the-hunger-games-series.aspx Fri, 12 Aug 2011 09:09:00 G8T 2313 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/" target="_blank">Teens Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2011/08/12/the-hunger-games-series.aspx to post your comments!

Hunger Games

Last fall when I was preparing my presentations for Teen Read Week, I came across the book Catching Fire.  I did not think much of it as I added it to the list of books to talk about in the schools I was visiting.  Then Teen Read Week came and my visits started.  In each classroom I showed the Catching Fire book trailer, and I began to notice that the teens sat up a little taller and I had their attention a little bit more.  I didn't understand.  What was the big deal about this book?

Then I finally started reading The Hunger Games.  And I was hooked.  For those of you new to the series, The Hunger Games is the first book in the trilogy.  Katniss Everdeen lives in the 12th district of the country of Panem, and this district is located in what was once called the Appalachian Mountains.  In this new nation of Panem, each district is separated by industry and importance, and the 12th district is the poorest of them all.  Every year the districts draw two names- one boy and one girl- to participate in The Hunger Games, a fight to the death in which the victor is the last person standing. 

I don't want to give too much away because this series is one that I think everyone should read.  Similar to the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games trilogy will catch the interest of young and old readers.  To all those teens out at Thompkins and Plaza that loved this series long before I did: thank you from this librarian. 

fiction reviews books teens summer reading program teen fiction
<![CDATA[Teen Facebook Page]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2011/04/05/teen-facebook-page.aspx Tue, 05 Apr 2011 08:29:00 G4T 2283 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/" target="_blank">Teens Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2011/04/05/teen-facebook-page.aspx to post your comments!

Hey Teens!  Stay connected with the latest teen news and events on the EVPL Teen Scene! Hang out with friends, surf the Net, check out some of the hottest new books or DVDs, or come to one of our many free events.  Check out the EVPL Teen Scene- our teen Facebook page!  "Like" us at:  www.evpl.org/teenscene

teen zone teens teen fiction
<![CDATA[Hate List by Jennifer Brown]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2011/01/10/hate-list-by-jennifer-brown.aspx Mon, 10 Jan 2011 18:27:00 G1T 2251 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/" target="_blank">Teens Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2011/01/10/hate-list-by-jennifer-brown.aspx to post your comments!

Hate ListJunior year is drawing to a close when Valerie's boyfriend, Nick, comes to school one morning and begins to shoot people in the Commons.  At the end of the shooting spree, six people are dead and many are wounded, including Valerie.  Within hours the police have searched Nick and Valerie's homes and discovered a "Hate List" the two created.  Many of the students targeted that morning were on this list.  Valerie becomes a suspect in the investigation.  Was she part of Nick's plan?  Was it a double suicide that went wrong?  Was Valerie really shot trying to stop Nick?  All of these are questions the students, teachers, parents, community, and the nation are asking.

For Valerie, the list was a way to vent her frustrations with the bullying she endured day after day at school.  She never meant anything by it, but she will be haunted by the list and by what Nick did that morning for the rest of her life.  After being cleared by the police, Valerie spent summer vacation isolated from the outside world.  Now that a new school year has begun, Valerie is going back to school to face her demons.  HIGHLY recommended. 

Similar reads:  Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Undone by Brooke Taylor

central library fiction reviews teen zone books teens high school teen fiction
<![CDATA[Teen Gaming Night]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2011/01/09/teen-gaming-night.aspx Sun, 09 Jan 2011 15:19:00 G1T 2249 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/" target="_blank">Teens Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2011/01/09/teen-gaming-night.aspx to post your comments!

Rock BandDDR?  Rock Band?  Had a long day at school and looking for something fun to do?  Check out Teen Gaming Night @ Central!  Tuesday, January 11 from 6:00-7:30pm.  Join us for a fun night of gaming, food, and fun!

teen zone events guitar hero teens
<![CDATA[Attention Tweens and Teens! Reader's Theatre @ EVPL!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2010/12/01/attention-tweens-and-teens-reader-s-theatre-evpl.aspx Wed, 01 Dec 2010 10:49:00 G12T 2237 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/" target="_blank">Teens Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2010/12/01/attention-tweens-and-teens-reader-s-theatre-evpl.aspx to post your comments!

TheatreCalling all Tweens and Teens!  EVPL Reader's Theatre!

Ever dreamed about writing your own script? Do you have a flair for the stage? If you are looking for something to do over Winter Break, this program is just for you! Join librarians in the first ever EVPL Reader's Theatre!

Monday-Thursday, December 20-23

3:30-4:30 pm

Browning Room A

Performance will be held on Thursday, December 23 at 6pm in Browning Rooms A and B.

teen zone events teens families
<![CDATA[Teen Art Show @ Central's Teen Zone]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2010/11/22/teen-art-show-central-s-teen-zone.aspx Mon, 22 Nov 2010 19:15:00 G11T 2232 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/" target="_blank">Teens Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2010/11/22/teen-art-show-central-s-teen-zone.aspx to post your comments!


Art PaletteTeen Art Show @ Central's Library Teen Zone

Monday, November 29 through Friday, December 17

Teens can turn in drawings and photographs at the PMC Information Desk between November 29 and December 17 for a chance to win the EVPL Teen Art Contest!  The top three winners will be chosen the week before Christmas, and will receive a ribbon and prize.  Art must be picked up by January 7, 2011. 

teen zone art teens high school
<![CDATA[Celebrate Teen Read Week Oct. 17-23]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2010/10/16/celebrate-teen-read-week-oct-17-23.aspx Sat, 16 Oct 2010 11:50:00 G10T 2213 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/" target="_blank">Teens Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2010/10/16/celebrate-teen-read-week-oct-17-23.aspx to post your comments!

Teen Read Week

**The Teen Read Week Contest will end Sunday, October 31 at 5pm.  Make sure you vote on the Teens' Top Ten in Central's Teen Zone.**

Books with Beat @ EVPL! October 17-23. Stop by the Teen Zone at Central Library during Teen Read Week and check out our Books with Beat! Pick up books and other materials about poetry, music, and more or listen to an audiobook.   You can help pick the 2010 Teens’ Top Ten by voting at the display located in the Teen Zone.  If you vote, you will be entered to win a Visa giftcard!  Stop by today and find a page turner that you can read or listen to, just for the fun of it!


central library fiction teen zone books contest events werewolves vampires teens urban high school Yalsa list
<![CDATA[Crazy Heart ]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2010/06/08/crazy-heart.aspx Tue, 08 Jun 2010 14:10:00 G6T 2163 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2010/06/08/crazy-heart.aspx to post your comments!

Jeff Bridges gives an Oscar-worthy performance in his latest, Crazy Heart, in which he plays Bad Blake, a Crazy Heartmusician who has seen better times.  The movie begins with Bad's tour taking place in dive bars located in bowling alleys and small towns.  It is during one of these trips that he comes across journalist, Jean, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal.  A single-mom, Jean is reluctant to get involved with Bad, but their casual fling develops into something more.  Bad becomes attached to both Jean and her four-year-old son, and we discover that Bad has a grown son he never knew.  Colin Farrell comes into the story as Tommy Sweet, Bad's former protégé, who is willing to give Bad another chance, but only if his ego will allow it.  Between his growing relationship with Jean and opening for Tommy on tour, it seems Bad's life is turning around.


Then a fateful event occurs when Bad is drunk (as he often is throughout the movie), that causes him to lose everything he has recently gained.  Enter his favorite bartender and friend, played by Robert Duvall, who helps Bad get back on track.  With great performances by the entire cast and music by T-Bone Burnett, this movie is worth checking out.  Definitely worth the hype it received during the Oscars. 


music movies colin farrell films Oscars Jeff Bridges Maggie Gyllenhaal Robert Duvall
<![CDATA[The Informant]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2010/03/10/the-informant.aspx Wed, 10 Mar 2010 11:39:00 G3T 2115 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2010/03/10/the-informant.aspx to post your comments!

The Informant


Matt Damon has done some pretty amazing roles since starring in Good Will Hunting back in 1997.  While I have never been a huge action movie fan, the Bourne Trilogy is a fan favorite and I made sure to check them out on the big screen.  I loved Ocean's Eleven, even if they lost me with the next two.  So I was pretty eager to watch The Informant when it came into the library.  I should have kept it on the library shelf.

While Damon once again portrayed his role well, the movie never seemed to end for me.  The movie centers around Mark Whitacre (Damon), a biochemist and junior executive at Archer Daniels Midland.  In 1992, Whitacre began working with the FBI about price-fixing at ADM and turned in over 200 tapes as evidence.  His motive for feeding insider knowledge shifts as the movie goes along, and he manages to fool the FBI and the movie watchers. 

As the story twists and turns, it is hard to keep up.  I am pretty sure I had a look of confusion on my face from the beginning to the end.  At one point, I was sure four hours had passed, but it had only been 90 minutes.  The music follows as Whitacre blunders along marking the time when his story mutates from one lie to the next. 

Not highly recommended, but I give Damon props for another good performance.  Scott Bakula and Joel McHale also star in the movie.  If you aren't familiar with these actors, you will discover it is hard to take either of them too seriously.  The movie was based on the book The Informant: A True Story by Kurt Eichenwald.     

The Informant Matt Damon
<![CDATA[Winter Holiday movies]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2010/01/06/winter-holiday-movies.aspx Wed, 06 Jan 2010 11:39:00 G1T 1995 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2010/01/06/winter-holiday-movies.aspx to post your comments!

500 Days of Summer


During the few days I had off over the holidays, I was able to catch a lot of movies.  Some in the theater (Avatar- excellent!; Sherlock Holmes- pretty good), but even more at home.  Two movies that I had been waiting to come out on DVD did so right before I left on vacation. 

500 Days of Summer stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (loved him in 3rd Rock from the Sun) and Zooey Deschanel.  Tom (Gordon-Levitt) is a greeting card writer who believes in fate and one true love.  Enter the new girl at work (Deschanel), who Tom believes to be is soul mate.  Unfortunately, Summer does believe in much of anything, but especially relationships.  The movie bounces back and forth throughout their relationship's beginning, middle, and end.  Quirky romance, great soundtrack.  Highly recommended. 

The creator of Office Space is back with his newest movie, Extract.  This time we are introduced to happy business owner, Joel, who is content with his extract business, his wife, and his life.  A freak on-the-job accident, however, throws Joel's life into a spin.  Jason Bateman stars as business owner, Joel, Ben Affleck as his slacker best friend, Kristen Wiig as Joel's bored wife, and Mila Kunis plays a con artist in the middle of it all.  I love Office Space (who doesn't?), so I had high expectations for Extract.  I really wanted to love it, but it falls short for me. 








dvd humor comedy movies films Zooey Deschanel Jason Bateman Joseph Gordon-Levitt
<![CDATA[Fall YA reads]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2009/11/09/fall-ya-reads.aspx Mon, 09 Nov 2009 10:57:00 G11T 1929 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/" target="_blank">Teens Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2009/11/09/fall-ya-reads.aspx to post your comments!

Being a teenager means having to deal with a lot of changes.  Whether it is at home, in school, with friends, or a boyfriend/girlfriend, sometimes it is nice to come across a book that you can relate to and makes you feel like you're not alone in your problems.  Recently, I have read three YA novels that would appeal to teens in that their main character is easy to relate to and you feel like you have talked to a best friend after finishing it. 

Catherine Murdock published the conclusion to her trilogy focusing on DJ Schwenk in October.  Front and Center was a satisfying ending to a character I have grown to love.  We were first introduced to DJ in Dairy Queen, published in 2007.  A high school sophomore, DJ is a phenomenal basketball player that does a lot of work on her family's farm.  Over the summer, a family friend sends rival high school quarterback, Brian, over to work at the Schwenk farm.  DJ begins to help Brian train for football season, and she finds herself liking the sport by the end of summer.  When DJ decides to try-out for the team, the town is divided in support and resistance.  DJ's story continues in The Off Season focusing on DJ adjusting to life after her brother is paralyzed in a football game.  The story concludes in Front and Center, and I highly recommend your read the entire series.

Viola in Reel Life was published in September by adult author, Adriana Trigiani.  Viola has grown up in Brooklyn with documentary filmmaker parents until sophomore year when her parents ship her off to boarding school...in South Bend, Indiana.  Instead of adjusting to life with roommates and away from her family and friends, Viola hides behind her video camera.  An opportunity to make a movie for a contest pushes Viola out from behind the camera and into the real world.  Recommended.

Lastly, one of my favorite teen authors, Sara Zarr, was back last month with Once was Lost.  Zarr did not let me down as she dove into Sam's life as a preacher's daughter.  Sam's mom has been placed in rehab for alcoholism because she could not handle being a preacher's wife, but Sam is left to pick up the pieces.  When a local girl goes missing, Sam's faith is tested even more as her tragedy and the kidnapped girl's begin to overlap.  Highly recommended.

Happy Reading!

 Front and Center   Viola   Once was Lost

fiction reviews teens high school Sara Zarr
<![CDATA[Recent Chick Lit Reads]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/10/14/recent-chick-lit-reads.aspx Wed, 14 Oct 2009 16:33:00 G10T 1902 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/10/14/recent-chick-lit-reads.aspx to post your comments!

Prospect Park West     Mercury in Retrograde           Twenties Girl

In the past few weeks since my last blog post, I have been on a chick-lit rampage.  I have been speed-reading through recent releases like I don't have a hundred other things to do.  Laundry piled up, kitchen didn't get cleaned, and packing for my move didn't happen.  These three books are part of the reason that I have been slacking. 

Prospect Park West by Amy Sohn takes place in Brooklyn's prosperous Park Slope neighborhood.  The lives of four women intersect as they deal with husbands, children, and playground politics.  Not earth-shattering reading, but worth a chance if you have the time.

Mercury in Retrograde by Paula Froelich has a cover strikingly similar to Prospect Park West.  Froelich's novel takes place across the bridge in Manhattan where three women who are down on their luck join forces to get their lives back in order.  The ending is pretty predictable, but it is an enjoyable read.

Going across the pond to England, Sophie Kinsella's latest book, Twenties Girl, introduces us to Sadie, a wild flapper from the 1920s and her great-niece, Lara, living in present-day London.  Sadie has passed away alone in a retirement home, but her spirit remains on Earth pushing Lara to find who stole Sadie's prized possession.  True to Kinsella form, this book is laugh out loud funny and highly recommended. 

Happy Reading! 

humor reviews fiction books chick lit London funny love women friends Sophie Kinsella Amy Sohn Paula Froelich
<![CDATA[A Tree Grows in Brooklyn]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/09/30/a-tree-grows-in-brooklyn.aspx Wed, 30 Sep 2009 09:04:00 G9T 1875 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/09/30/a-tree-grows-in-brooklyn.aspx to post your comments!

A Tree Grows in BrooklynWhen I went home a little while back, I saw a copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn in my little sister's room.  Feeling a bit nostalgic, I went home and started reading the battered copy on my bookshelf.  I don't know how many times I have read this book (almost as many as Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird), but I always come away feeling like I have just read it for the first time.

Betty Smith published A Tree Grows in Brooklyn in 1943 and it was an immediate success.  The story focuses around Francie Nolan, a young girl growing up in the early twentieth century with a fun-loving, but alcoholic father, realistic mother, and younger brother.  Struggling against poverty and isolation from her peers, Francie finds solace in the library where she plans to read every book in the collection.  The story continues over the next five years of Francie's life.  Her struggle to gain her mother's love, her desire to better her own life, and finding love are all issues that Francie encounters growing up in Brooklyn. 

I don't want to give away too much of the story for those of you that haven't read it because A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a book that I believe everyone should read at least once.  Francie and her family have struggles that many people can relate to, and you can't help but wish to be the friend Francie so desperately needed.  If you are wandering around the library one day searching for something to read, remember to grab a copy of this book. 

reviews fiction books historical fiction teens families Mothers & Daughters poor World War I -- Fiction growing up love
<![CDATA[Easy Virtue]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2009/09/23/easy-virtue.aspx Wed, 23 Sep 2009 10:55:00 G9T 1862 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2009/09/23/easy-virtue.aspx to post your comments!

Easy VirtueI am a huge fan of Colin Firth.  I might question his decision to make films such as What a Girl Wants, but he easily redeems himself with performances in Love Actually, Then She Found Me, and now Easy Virtue.  In this movie, Firth plays the distant father and husband of an English family living in a crumbling estate.  Firth’s character returned home after wandering around Europe following WWI as part of the Lost Generation.  He now hides in his family’s shed repairing an old motorcycle and avoiding his family and their problems.  He pops up throughout the movie with sardonic wit and repressed feelings. 

Easy Virtue was adapted from a Noel Coward play set in the late 1920s.  Jessica Biel plays American racecar driver, Larita, who steals the heart of English heir, John (played by Ben Barnes).  The two marry and head to the family's English estate. Larita faces the scorn of her new mother-in-law who had plans for her son to marry the wealthy neighbor girl.  Kristin Scott Thomas does an excellent job as the mother fighting against her daughter-in-law for her son's attention and affection.  Larita's only allies come in the form of the family's servants and father-in-law (Firth).  Once her past scandals come to surface, however, Larita must decide if she will stay with John or leave him and his family behind. 

I loved the music, costumes, and actors in Easy Virtue.  This movie slipped my attention before landing on the library shelves, so I guess many others may have missed it as well.  Check it out- highly recommended.   

reviews comedy movies british Colin Firth films
<![CDATA[Sunshine Cleaning]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2009/09/16/sunshine-cleaning.aspx Wed, 16 Sep 2009 15:24:00 G9T 1858 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2009/09/16/sunshine-cleaning.aspx to post your comments!

Sunshine CleaningRose and Norah were little girls when their little mother died.  They both came in from playing in the yard to find their mom dead in the bathroom, an apparent suicide.  As the two girls grow up, that day shapes their lives.  Rose is a single mother working hard as a house cleaner to raise her son, while having an affair with her married high school sweetheart.  Norah is a party girl.  She doesn't have a boyfriend, drinks all the time, and can't hold a job.  Their father is a quirky man always looking for a get-rich-quick scheme. 

After Rose's son is expelled from school and a reunion with her high school friends approaching, Rose convinces Norah to start a crime scene cleaning business with her.  Hilarity ensues as the two women struggle to learn the ropes of cleaning up grisly crime scenes, but there is an underlying seriousness as well.  With their new business taking off, both Rose and Norah have to come to grips with what happen to their mother all those years ago and figure out what they want out of their own lives. 

Fans of Little Miss Sunshine will like this movie with the quirky characters, humor, but a serious storyline as well.  I laughed out loud and cried a few times as well.  Highly recommended. 

reviews humor comedy families movies films dying
<![CDATA[Commencement ]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/09/11/commencement.aspx Fri, 11 Sep 2009 12:47:00 G9T 1842 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/09/11/commencement.aspx to post your comments!

CommencementIt is sometimes hard to believe that I graduated from USI over five years ago.  That may seem like no time at all for some people, but sometimes I still feel like I am 21 again.  Sometimes I forget that I am a "grown-up" with a "grown-up" job and bills, house payments, etc.  Many of my favorite memories involved my roommates and friends from college walking to class, throwing a frisbee outside the apartments, and staying up late to talk about the future. 

When I read the premise behind Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan, I knew I had to read it.  After waiting a few weeks because of all the holds (I wish librarians got priority sometime!), I stayed up late in the night reading this book.  I connected with the characters created by Sullivan because I could see a bit of myself, and my friends, in each of the four main characters.

Set in the late 1990s at Smith College, Celia, Sally, Bree, and April are put together as hall-mates.  On first glance, the four seem to have nothing in common and have no desire to befriend one another.  As they go through the early days of college, however, they learn to rely on one another and form a bond that lasts through their college years.  The differences come to head in their early twenties as the four split off to separate lives. 

At Sally's wedding a few years later, an argument occurs that leaves a rift between the four best friends.  Gradually, they all begin to realize that life isn't as easy without each other and when one of the four goes missing, they come together to search for their missing link. 

One of the best things about this book was that most of us can relate to an argument between friends.  I just happened to get this book when one of my closest friends and I seemed to be constantly at odds.  After reading Commencement, I realized that life without her wouldn't be the same and emailed her an apology.  Growing up and getting older isn't simple, but it is easier to manage with great friends.   

reviews fiction books recommended funny growing up love friends college students college
<![CDATA[The Wedding Girl]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/08/28/the-wedding-girl.aspx Fri, 28 Aug 2009 09:54:00 G8T 1803 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/08/28/the-wedding-girl.aspx to post your comments!

The Wedding GirlAre you a fan of the Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella?  If so, let me introduce you to Kinsella's alter ego, Madeleine Wickham.  Both personas write about English women who have found themselves in a predicament.  Whether it be money (Shopaholic series), quitting a job and winding up in the country (Undomestic Goddess), or having a marriage from ten years ago come back and haunt her (Wickham's newest novel), women in all of the novels have an obstacle to overcome.  The difference, however, is the slapstick humor that can be found in Kinsella's books.  When she writes under the alter ego of Wickham, Sophie Kinsella approaches subjects more seriously and tackles some difficult issues.

In the newest book by Wickham, The Wedding Girl, Milly Havill is just four days from marrying the man of her dreams.  It seems, however, that Milly has a secret that she has been hiding for ten years and the secret is threatened to be revealed by her wedding photographer.  When she was 18, Milly married an American student to allow him to stay in England with his partner.  Thinking no one would ever find out, Milly continues to live her life for the next ten years.  A few days before her wedding, however, the photographer shows up to take her picture, and Milly discovers it is the same young man that snapped a shot of her first wedding on the courthouse steps. 

Milly's story is just one of the storylines in The Wedding Girl.  Each character has issues that he or she is struggling to resolve.  While there are multiple storylines occurring in this novel, Wickham manages to keep the reader invested in all the characters.  It isn't her strongest, or funniest, but for fans of Kinsella or Wickham, it will be another good read.

reviews books chick lit families Mothers & Daughters English love family secrets
<![CDATA[Bobby and Jackie: A Love Story]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/08/24/bobby-and-jackie-a-love-story.aspx Mon, 24 Aug 2009 15:01:00 G8T 1796 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/08/24/bobby-and-jackie-a-love-story.aspx to post your comments!

Bobby and JackieI can't remember a time when I wasn't fascinated with the story of America's Camelot.  My bookshelves are lined with books about the Kennedys- biographies, essays, coffee table books, even old newspaper articles my grandma has given me.  What is it about this family that intrigues so many people? 

While JFK is a unique person to read about, I always enjoyed reading more about his younger brother, Robert Kennedy.  I have the impression of a younger, smaller brother always running to catch up with his older siblings, but Robert Kennedy was an intelligent man that many Americans looked towards to change the U.S. in the 1968 election. 

C. David Heymann has written many biographies about the Kennedy family, and his newest book looks into the relationship Bobby Kennedy had with his famous sister-in-law, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.  With research to back up his theories, Heymann writes about how the relationship between the two grew to a more intimate one after the assassination of JFK.  The affair only ended when Bobby began to run in the presidential election. 

It is stated that the relationship between Bobby and Jackie was well-known through the family and friends of the Kennedys, and it was definitely new to this amateur Kennedy researcher.  The information and documentation backing up Heymann's claim is hard to ignore, and once again the Kennedys managed to shock me with another affair!

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<![CDATA[Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/08/12/confessions-of-a-jane-austen-addict.aspx Wed, 12 Aug 2009 11:07:00 G8T 1756 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/08/12/confessions-of-a-jane-austen-addict.aspx to post your comments!

I am a bit of a Jane Austen fan. Sometimes I just need to pull Pride and Prejudice off my shelf and curl up with Mr. Darcy. It seems that I am not the only person with a fondness for Jane Austen and her fabulous stories. In the past few years there has been an influx of spin-offs, remakes, and sequels. The latest has been the introduction of zombies to Pemberley. I am not quite sure how Ms. Austen would feel about that...

Some of my favorite additions to the number of Austen fanfics being written are by Laurie Viera Rigler. Her first in the series, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, was published in 2007 and features modern-day Courtney Stone who wakes up in nineteenth-century England. Courtney has left behind her L.A. life of a broken engagement and lost friendship to inhabit the body and life of Jane Mansfield. Courtney has little time to figure out how she ended up two hundred years in the past before she is swept away in an Austen-like land full of dinners, balls, and beaus. One man in particular, Charles Edgeworth, seems to have interest in Jane Mansfield, but Courtney doesn’t know what the means to her. Courtney struggles has her two lives mesh together and she wonders if she will ever go back to her own life. Jane Austen even has a cameo in this addition to Austen-lit.

Rigler's latest novel, Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, introduces us to the real Jane Mansfield from the previous novel. It seems when Courtney took over Jane's life in 1800s England, Jane had been thrown into modern-day L.A. Jane awakens one morning to a pounding headache and someone at the door. It seems Courtney (whose body Jane now inhabits) has had a bit of a rough time lately, and her friends are worried about her. Jane struggles to adapt to the 21st century while figuring out who the strangers are that keep jetting her around in fast-moving carriages, why men and women are allowed to dine together in outdoor bistros, and how the music keeps coming out of the tiny picture frame with buttons.

In both novels, Rigler takes us to the world of Jane Austen while maintaining a firm foothold in the present-day. We get to experience the daily things we take for granted while Jane humorously tries them for the first time. Both books are highly recommended.

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict

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<![CDATA[Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2009/07/31/story-of-a-girl-by-sara-zarr.aspx Fri, 31 Jul 2009 14:30:00 G7T 1718 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/" target="_blank">Teens Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2009/07/31/story-of-a-girl-by-sara-zarr.aspx to post your comments!

Story of a Girl

How would you feel if your life was defined by a mistake you made over three years ago?  Especially when three years ago, you did not fully comprehend the consequences of what you were doing or realize how long that mistake would follow you.  Deanna's father caught her in the backseat of seventeen-year-old Tommy's car when she was just thirteen.  Three years later, Deanna's life is still be defined by that moment in time.  Her father won't look her in the eyes, the kids at school call her names, and Deanna tries to pretend that it doesn't matter.

It does matter, however, and trying to be tough is taking its toll on Deanna.  Her brother and his girlfriend are living in the basement with their baby, Deanna's mom is always tired from working so hard, her best friends are now dating, and Deanna's summer job forces her to work with Tommy.  The only time Deanna can express how she really feels is through her writing, which we catch glimpses of throughout Sara Zarr's Story of a Girl

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<![CDATA[If I Stay by Gayle Forman]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2009/07/24/if-i-stay-by-gayle-forman.aspx Fri, 24 Jul 2009 09:28:00 G7T 1701 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/" target="_blank">Teens Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2009/07/24/if-i-stay-by-gayle-forman.aspx to post your comments!

If I StayI was almost late coming back from my break yesterday to finish if I stay by Gayle Forman. The story stayed with me long after I returned it. Even when I went home last night, I was still thinking about this exceptional book.

Imagine if you had to choose between living the rest of your life without your family and joining them in death? Seventeen-year-old Mia last remembers driving down the road with her parents and little brother listening to the radio. Her head was rested against the window in the backseat as she sat back enjoying the sound of the music and her family's voices. In one short moment, Mia is now standing on the side of the road and sees her family's car smashed, her parents lying dead on the road, and paramedics rushing to save her and her younger brother. She wonders "Am I dead?" as she watches her body being rushed to the hospital.

Thus begins the toughest decision Mia will ever have to make. As she hovers over her body as it struggles to heal, Mia has to decide if she wants to wake up and join her grandparents, best friend, and boyfriend or if she wants to join her parents and brother wherever they are now. One-by-one Mia's friends and family come to her bedside. Some ask her to stay; others tell her that it is her decision. Mia watches as her grandpa sobs at her bedside and her boyfriend struggles with the nurse to be admitted to the ICU.

As I read through the pages of Mia's story and her decision to whether stay or to go, it made me wonder what in my life is worth living for. I highly recommend you check this book out.

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<![CDATA[Hester Browne]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/07/22/hester-browne.aspx Wed, 22 Jul 2009 09:03:00 G7T 1696 KickinLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/07/22/hester-browne.aspx to post your comments!

The Finishing TouchesIf you haven't read anything by Hester Browne, then you need to go to the nearest library and check one of her books out!  Browne has written a hilarious series that begins with The Little Lady Agency.  The story begins with Melissa Romney-Jones, a Londoner who has once again been fired from her job.  In order to find more permanent employment, Melissa looks up her old etiquette teacher who serves as a companion for older men.  A few dates into the job, however, Melissa finds out her job wasn't exactly what she thought!  Determined to help those men who are quite helpless, Melissa starts her own business- The Little Lady Agency- to help men figure out their wardrobes, how to act on dates, etc.  All is going along swimmingly until Melissa meets American Jonathan Riley.  As Melissa struggles to get her company going, she also struggles to keep her attraction to Jonathan under control.  Melissa's story continues in Little Lady, Big Apple and The Little Lady Agency and the Prince.  Now that she is off the singles market, Melissa tries to figure out how to balance her business of helping bachelors while keeping a boyfriend. 

In June 2009, Browne published a new stand-alone book.  After waiting for weeks on the hold list (even librarians have to wait for the good books), I eagerly started reading The Finishing Touches this weekend.  Browne has done it again!  Not only does the book have laugh-out-loud moments, but there is also a bit of seriousness thrown in as well.  Twenty-seven years ago a baby was left outside the Phillimore Academy for Young Ladies with a note and a small bee pendant.  Betsy grows up in the shadows of the Academy walls anticipating the day she will become one of the Phillimore girls.  Imagine her shock when her adoptive parents decide she is "not that type of girl" and send her off to university.  Twelve years later Betsy returns after the death of her adoptive mother in hopes of bringing the Academy into the modern age and finding her real parents. 

 If you're looking for a new author that will make you laugh and feel a little weepy, check out any of the Hester Browne books. 

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