Almost Night by Emily White

Oh my LOVE! And not only because Almost Night rhymes with Emily White (I love rhymes!). There are dragons, unicorns, good, bad, evil, and a whole bunch of awesome! Fantasy meets up with reality for an epic battle in Almost Night and I can’t wait to read more from the Tales of Morcah!

ALMOST NIGHT by Emily White
Release Date: May 5, 2013
Paperback, 303 pages
Genre: YA / Fantasy / Fiction

Fourteen-year-old Lilly Grey exists in two worlds at the same time. She just doesn’t know it.


As the only albino in a million mile radius, Lilly is used to being different. Pink eyes and white hair aren’t exactly the best camouflage in the harrowing jungles formally known as high school. And yeah, she’s used to being an outcast and seeing the world in a slightly different way, but she never guessed how literally “different” applied to her.

Not until a clan of shape-shifting dragons tell her she’s not just albino. She’s a unicorn and the only mortal alive who can live on both Earth and its antithesis, Morcah. Now all those times she thought she saw a floating brown blotch in the sky or eyes peering out at her from the bark of trees make sense. She’s been seeing Morcah, a land that exists in the exact same spot as Earth, just in a different phase.


But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for this unicorn. As the only one who can live in both phases, she’s also the only one who can bring Morcah–and all its inhabitants–to Earth. And creatures who’ve been trapped on Earth since the Dark Ages are willing to do worse things than kill to make that happen.

Again.
May 5th Chelsea’s Reading Adventures – Review
May 5th A Diary of A Book Addict  – Review
May 6th The Happy Booker – Review
May 7th Books and Bling  – Review
May 8th Like A Bump on A Blog– Review
May 9th I Am A Reader – Interview/Guest Post
May 14th – Karin Baker – LRB Guest Post – Review
May 19th DanaSquare– Review
May 21st Painted Words– Review/Guest Post
May 22nd Bookish– Review
May 23rd Books Complete Me– Review/Playlist
May 26th Booksniffer Book Reviews– Review
May 26th wicked Readings by Tawania– Playlist/Spotlight
May 27th Live To Read– Review
May 27th The Cover Contessa– Interview/GP
May 29th Curling Up With A Good Book– Guest Post/Interview
May 29th Offbeat Vagabond– Review
Emily White is a nerd. 
She prefers her men fully clothed and donning bow-ties, her commas British, her books cheesy with big, overly-dramatic explosions, her characters awkward and endearingly real,* and watching her movies in authentic turn-of-the-century theaters. When not exposing her nerdy self to the world, she’s creating her own friends and putting them in horrible, yet sometimes humorous situations.
Check out her YA Space Opera series starting with Elemental (Spencer Hill Press, 2012), continuing with FAE (February 2014), and ending sometime in the near future with a book she has yet to write. She’s also authored a collection of Steampunk (zombie, werebot romance) flash fiction, if you’re into those kinds of things, titled “To Love or Die in a Steamy-Reamy World.”

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That Shady Kind of Book Pass

  reality GrasshopperJungle June 27 13

This week I’ve been proudly watching the monsters pass around A.S. King’s Reality Boy and Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle. They get that kind of shady, far away look in their eyes as they hand it off. They start to whisper without meaning to, because they have the best secret in the whole freaking world,  right in their hands. They act they are doing something so wrong it just has to be right. It’s totally epic. I get it. It’s real. In my head they are passing secrets and truth and everything that really matters when they start that shady kind of book pass.

I remember passing books just like that. The ones that were so amazing they made you feel like you were punched in the face, but somehow in a good way. Books like this are raw. They hurt. You ache when you read these books and you want everyone to read them. You need to share these words with the world.

They really yelled at my teenage brain. The ones that  me feel a little less crazy or weird or unusual. Or, even better, that made me feel that my kind of crazy-weird-unusual wasn’t so messed up after all. These are the kinds of books that made me feel like if “they” knew we were reading books like these, they’d take them away or I’d be in big trouble. These books make us think about our demands, because good books really are about everything.

I’m so freaking proud to be a teacher every day! But, damn, on days like these, I want to scream and yell to anyone that will listen, “LOOK AT THESE AMAZING SASSY HUMANS! They are everything that is everything the world! BE AMAZED BY THEIR AWESOME!”

A bit much? Nope! My monsters are really are that epic.

Thank you, A.S. King. Thank you, Andrew Smith.

You are pretty freaking epic, too!

// ]]>

AWESOME YALL FEST PIC ROUND UP!

My super adorable friend Laura & I set out on an adventure to Charleston, SC for YALL FEST! It was an awesome trip filled with tons of book love! Here are a few of our favorite pics from the weekend. Yay books!

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My new YALL FEST shirt

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Cassie Clare & Holly Black

My ticket to meet Cassie Clare. Alas, it wasn’t in the cards that day. Sad Panda!

Adam Gidwitz rocks Grimm with tons of sass! Love it!

Trenton Lee Stewart! Love his Mysterious Benedict Society series!!

David Levithan. I love the way he makes the world a better place with every awesome book he writes!

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Gayle Forman…OMG! Love her!

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Laura & I on a bike taxi! Check out the cool reflection in her glasses! So fun!

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Carrie Ryan…then I died! Love her!! Also, LOVE HER!

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The coolest YALL FEST volunteer around!

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Laura with her fave, Stephanie Perkins

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Laura with Carrie Ryan. Did I mention that I love these two?!?!

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My new favorite necklace by the amazing www.hebeldesign.com Love her work!

Sending ASK THE PASSENGERS my love!

5 Blings for Ask the Passengers

5 Blings! for Ask the Passengers

Wow! I just finished A.S. King’s ASK THE PASSENGERS. Her words live, as they always do, like magic, like the perfect hug, like a tattoo that gets inked onto all that you are and ever were, like the one thing you need to hear at the right time to know that everything really will be ok.

Sending you my love, but not all of it. ♥

Read ASK THE PASSENGERS. Your heart will thank you.

Here’s my thank you to Amy for these amazing words:

I just finished Ask the Passengers. I’m sending you my love. But not all of it. Just enough for you to know that you are so loved and your words are beautiful and there are so many that will hold those words close to their hearts the way I am now. I am smiling just thinking about it.
I’m also kind of upset that I pronounce Socrates wrong in my head, every time, because of Bill & Ted. Maybe I should send them some of my love, too.
Thank you for all of the ♥

Please remember that love is love.

We all have love to give and we are all worthy of being loved. 

 

Finally! AS King’s New Book!! Ask the Passengers!

Yup, I totally love A.S. King. She rocks my whole face off.

I’ve been waiting for this book for at least a million years (or a few months, whatevs). It arrived on my doorstep Friday. And I devoured it. I love it. I kinda wanna marry it. (just kidding…maybe).

Go read it. Now! 

Ask the Passengers ROCKS! 5 Blings!

I don’t even get mad (just sad) that she isn’t at the book events I go to. Why? Because she keeps writing awesome books…but I do want to meet her someday. Totally say hey, hang, and buy her a round or two. Instant BFF’s-I think so!

Check out what she has in the works (more things for me to love, and pet, and drool on):

Printz Honor author A.S. King’s REALITY BOY, in which an infamous reality TV child star, now a damaged teenage boy, meets a girl who forces him out of his angry shell before they run away and send their dysfunctional families a list of demands that must be met in order for them to come back, to Andrea Spooner at Little, Brown Children’s, for publication in Fall 2013, by Michael Bourret at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (World English).

Luke Reynolds, ed.’s BREAK THESE RULES, an anthology of first-person accounts from leading authors for teens (including Sara Zarr, Kathryn Erskine, A.S. King and Gary Schmidt, and many others), from which all royalties will be donated to the Children’s Defense Fund, to Lisa Reardon at Chicago Review Press, by Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency (World).

Ashes & Shadows…Ilsa J. Bick Rocks This Post!

So, you may remember when I read Ilsa J. Bick‘s Ashes.

It freaked me out & kept me up at night.

I LOVED IT!
ASHES-5 Creepy Blings!
It also ended in a OMG! WHAT THE WHAT! cliffhanger! I totally love/hated how Ilsa rocked those last two pages!

Finally, finally, finally, Shadows is here! And, let me tell you, it is Ashes on overdrive! Just as amazing, way more awesome, and (if this is even possible) totally more disgusting and extreme. It rocks!
Shadows gets 5 Creepy Blings, too!

I am the happiest girl ever today to be able to present you with a post written by the AWESOME Ilsa J. Blick herself! WOOT!

Overview of characters Part 1 – For Books and Bling – Mandee
Need a quick refresher, of who’s who before you read SHADOWS? Well, you won’t get much in SHADOWS, but if you DO need to a memory-jog, read on.
If you haven’t read ASHES, shame on you. But don’t despair, you’ve got time.
In any event, BEWARE: spoilers ahead. Really, if you’ve not read ASHES, don’t go any further. Not only will you ruin the perfectly good time you might have had—because no synopsis can do justice to a novel—you will miss a lot of vital information that I can’t include.
Just saying.

Alex Adair: living with her aunt in Illinois after her mom, an ER doc, and dad, a cop, died in a helicopter crash three years ago. Suckier still, Alex carries a monster in her head: an inoperable brain tumor that’s stolen her sense of smell and many of her memories, especially those of her parents. After two years of failed chemotherapy, radiation, and experimental regimens, Alex has decided to call the shots for a change. As the novel opens, Alex has run off on what might well be a one-way backpacking trek through the Waucamaw Wilderness in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She intends to honor her parents’ last wishes and scatter their ashes from Mirror Point on Lake Superior. As it happens, she’s also got her dad’s service Glock, just in case she opts out of a return. After the Zap, Alex gets her sense of smell back in spades: a super-sense that also allows her to intuit emotions and, on one occasion, get a glimmer of what’s going on inside the mind of a wolf. Which is pretty funky. Much more to the point and like the dogs, she is able to detect the bloated roadkill stink of the Changed. Oh, and all of a sudden, every dog is her new best friend.

Ellie Cranford: sullen, uncooperative, a trifle whiny, a kid Alex has to keep herself from slapping silly. What can you say? The kid’s eight. Her dad’s KIA in Iraq; her mother split years back; and Ellie’s now being cared for by her grandfather, Jack, who might have the patience of a saint, but cut the kid a break. She hates camping, and it’s not like she hasn’t got good reason to be a little pissy anyway. Initially rescued by Alex and then Tom, Ellie is kidnapped by some very nasty adults who see her as a meal ticket.
Mina: Ellie’s dog, a Belgian Malinois, and formerly her dad’s MWD (military working dog). Mina also has the patience of a saint and packs a mean bite. The nasty adults take her, too.

Tom Eden: a young soldier and explosive ordinance specialist on leave from Afghanistan; a competent guy who complements Alex in a lot of ways. After Alex fends off a pack of wild dogs, Tom saves both Ellie and Alex by shooting his buddy, Jim, who’s gone through a major lifestyle change. Steady and calm, someone to whom Alex is instantly attracted, Tom also has a few secrets of his own. The biggest is just why he’s in the Waucamaw to begin with. Once they leave the (relative) safety of the Waucamaw—we’re talking wild dogs, booby traps, and kids who’ve suddenly decided that people make excellent Happy Meals—Tom is shot while trying to prevent the nasty adults from stealing Ellie.

Check out Ashes, if you haven’t. Get your hands on Shadows right away! And, of course, give the brillantly ewie Ilsa J. Bick some major creep out love!

A HUGE Books and Bling thank you filled with love for Ilsa. For both writing this post and creeping me out in a way that just makes me want MORE!
You totally rock!

Ilsa J. Bick rocked these books!

5 Blings! for both Ashes & Shadows!

5 Blings! for Ilsa J. Bick!

Ilsa Bick…OMG! Cannot wait for Shadows!

Shadows: The sequel to Ashes

Ashes totally (TOTALLY) freaked me out! I mean, I had to stop reading it at night. It was awesome and scary and creepy…I loved it!

So, Shadows is coming out soon (9/25/12). I am lucky and I get to read it early (Yay!). I’m starting it tonight. YAY! I hope that it terrifies me and pulls me in like Ashes did. I’m betting it will!

Didn’t read Ashes? GO READ IT RIGHT NOW! For reals, it totally rocked my face off!!

Have you read Ashes? I’d love to know what you thought!

You’re Killing Me, Smalls! & 2 Thank Yous: AS King & my parents rock!

More Mandee Monday-You’re Killing Me,  Smalls!

So, a normal person would be excited when their favorite author announces a new book. A normal person would just pre-order it and wait excitedly. A normal person would check their blog from time to time and read updates and such.

There hasn’t been any normal in my life since,

well, never. 

I wanted to be a garbage man (yes, MAN) when I was 3. My mom let me get up early and watch the garbage men when they picked up our trash and I still remember peeking out the window and waving to them with a huge smile on my cute little face (I was pretty darn cute, I must say!) I was a puppy for several weeks (again, yes, WEEKS) when I was four. I barked, ate from a bowl, but thankfully used the potty like a person. (WHEW!). There was also a waitress phase. We turned the kitchen into The Hobit Hotel (my Mama started reading me Tolkien when I was 2). I took orders on my little notepad and brought out the food. It was hysterical. My dad, Popi, and I would then sit down and figure out the one thing that wasn’t on the table. We’d then wait until Mama sat down (finally) to eat to ask for it. She’d yell something about our legs being broken or how we’d be sorry when she was gone. Then she’d go get whatever we wanted and kiss us on the head.  I have at least a million more of these stories about my parents and how they totally rocked my little kid world and shaped me into someone who laughs and smiles and cares and really gives a darn about people.

Now back to my point: A normal person would be ecstatic at the news that their ultimate favorite author (YES, YOU, AS KING! YOU!!). And, don’t get me wrong, I totally am. But, I’m also a total brat-face and I can’t wait.

I. CANNOT. WAIT! 

There are so many awesome books out there that I am dying to read. There are new books, series finales (Lauren DeStefano’s SEVER immediately jumps to mind), and a my towering TBR piles.  I should really just hush and read and be happy. But, I can’t do that! I’m an only child. Waiting makes me go all Crazy Town Banana Pants! (Do you watch Community? If not, OMG-Go Freaking Watch It For Real Life!)

So, what’s my point here? Well, I have two. (possibly more, but I’m not a math person).

1. Thank you, AS King,  who I totally freaking love as an awesome author & totally fun person (BTW: not at all in a creepy stalker!) kind of way! You say what needs to be said. You are a survivor and I respect the hell out of you for your awesome stand against bullying. You shove it in the faces of people who need it shoved there (and other places I shall not name here). You find joy in things that matter. You just TOTALLY FREAKING ROCK! Mostly, though, You write these EPIC books that sink into my soul! They sit there and become part of me in a way that makes me stronger & better. You hit home with kids who don’t think anyone gets it. Then they read your books and feel like someone really does know what nobody else understands. Sometimes that is one of my students or a kid who I know really needs you. Sometimes it is someone in a book store or a library that I don’t know. Sometimes it is me. Really, your writing makes me hurl your books into people’s hands and scream, “READ THIS RIGHT NOW!!”  The Dust of 100 Dogs had me shoving the text in people’s hands! Please Ignore Vera Dietz shook my world. Everybody Sees the Ants, wow! Just wow!

I really super totally want to read Ask the Passengers immediately! I cannot wait for Reality Boy!

Simply put:

You’re Killing Me Smalls! 

2. Thank you, Mama & Popi! My parents are awesome. I’m lucky to have been raised by people who loved me & wanted me. I used to think Popi and I were kids together. I used to say, “Popi, remember when we were little and we . . .” My Mama says that we were loved more in one day than most people are loved in their whole lives. It’s true, too.  Maybe the dishes sat in the sink some nights, maybe we didn’t have a whole bunch of money. Who cares! I sure didn’t. They made me KNOW that I could do anything I wanted to do. They showed me what the real deal was, but made it fun, too! They read to me, let me be what & who I needed to be, picked up the shredded bits of my heart a zillion times when things totally sucked,&  they made me proud to be their kid! My Mama showed me what real love means when we cared for Popi as we slowly watched cancer take over his life. We were able to laugh then, too, in between times of nightmares and oceans of loss. They made me realize what I’m worth and taught me what marriage really means. Schmoopy and I can proudly base our marriage on those of our parents. My model for love is the truest example. There aren’t really words in English or any other language to explain these two amazing people.

 These two amazing people raised me with so much love & laughter & hope & peace.
I’m the luckiest kid ever!  

I do realize that to many this post seems to be about two totally different things. But it isn’t. The way I was raised and they way that AS King writes really do belong together. And I don’t really need for anyone but me to get that.

Proud to be Nerdy!

Two Worlds Collide!

Today, my books and bling life and literacy teacher life get to collide again. I love when this happens!

I love reading. Even more that that, I love people who love reading!

So, when I had the chance to write a post for the awesome Nerdy Book Club, I was all in! These are my people! I feel so at home with the Nerdy Book Club. Though I try to visit a variety of blogs, this is the one I never miss!

Check it out here: http://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/my-kids-hate-reading/

I hope you join all the Nerdy Book Club awesomeness! It really is great to be Nerdy!

The Post Where My Worlds Collide: Chicago Edition

This week I’m in Chicago at the International Reading Association’s 57th Annual Convention.

IRA 2012 Chicago

Two of my favorite things are combined: Reading and Education!

I don’t usually mix my two social media personalities, but this week Books and Bling and on Literacy Everywhere are mixing together in an epic pairing of awesome!

Yesterday, Schmoopy and I took a LONG WALK to see where Merit of the Chicgoland Vampire books lives-Go Cadogan!. Chloe Neill even posted my pic on her blog!

Cadogan House!

This morning, I got to see Dr. Steve Perry speak. He was really inspiring!

Dr. Steve Perry at IRA 2012

Then I met Michael Buckley and he loved the Bling! I’m a huge fan of his NERDS series! He is just as awesome in person as I thought he’d be!

Michael Buckley & the BLING!

 

Awesome NERDS Signed Copy Bling! YAY!

Next, I heard Nick Bruel speak and got him to sign some Bad Kitty books for me. I even snagged one of his Bad Kitty drawings from his presentation. AWESOME!

Bad Kitty for President! You’ve got my vote!

 

Bad Kitty Sketch!

Basically, I’m learning tons and fangirling my way through this awesome town! Well, we’re eating a ton of great food, too! Chicago is super yummy!