Monday, March 30, 2009

Review: Shine, Coconut Moon

Shine, Coconut Moon
Neesha Meminger

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Samar--a.k.a. Sam--has never known much about her Indian heritage. Her mom has deliberately kept Sam away from her old-fashioned family. It's never bothered Sam, who is busy with school, friends, and a really cute but demanding boyfriend.
But things change after 9/11. A gut in a turban shows up at Sam's house, and he turns out to be her uncle. He wants to reconcile the family and teach Sam about her Sikh heritage. Sam isn't sure what to do, until a girl at school calls her a coconut - brown on the outside, white on the inside. That decides it: Why shouldn't Sam get to know her family? What is her mom so afraid of? Then some boys attack her uncle, shouting, "Go back home, Osama!" and Sam realizes she could be in danger - and also discovers how dangerous ignorance can be. Sam will need all her smarts and savvy to try to bridge the two worlds and make them both her own.

Review: I wasn't sure of this book at first, and had a hard time really getting into it. It didn't really catch my interest at first. But after the first 3 or 4 chapters, it started getting better and I wanted to find out what Samar would decide to do. While her uncle was trying to reconnect with both Sam and her mom, he and her mom had different opinions on Sam learning more about her family. So that made it kind of interesting, because Sam would go to Uncle Sandeep to see if he'd give her more information than her mom would. I don't see how Mike, Sam's boyfriend, suddenly started being so ignorant when they'd been going out for a while before. I liked him in the beginning but he turned into a jerk real quick. This was a fun read, and I think most of us can relate to it. Who hasn't wondered about their past or relatives they've never met, at some point? This book won't be one of my favorites, but it was fun and interesting. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to read something a bit different from the normal YA novels.

Overall rating: 4/5

Operation Teen Book Drop!

For more information contact:

Sara Easterly, Publicist for readergirlz

Sara Easterly & Friends



Despite economic downturn, generous publishers have donated
thousands of young-adult books for readergirlz, Guys Lit Wire, and YALSA
to deliver to teens in America’s top pediatric hospitals

March 17, 2009 (Seattle, Wash.)Teen patients in pediatric hospitals across the United States will receive 8,000 young-adult novels, audiobooks, and graphic novels next week as readergirlz, Guys Lit Wire, and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) celebrate the third annual Support Teen Lit Day on April 16.

In its second year, “Operation TBD” (short for Teen Book Drop), puts free books donated by 18 book publishers into the hands of many teens most in need of escape, inspiration and a sense of personal accomplishment. Books with exceptional characters and fabulous stories can provide just that for teens and their families dealing with difficult, long-term hospital stays.

At a time when philanthropic giving is down, readergirlz co-founders have been inspired by overwhelming industry support for Operation TBD. “readergirlz is always looking for innovative ways to connect teens with literature, “ said Dia Calhoun, co-founder of readergirlz and acclaimed young-adult author. “We’re honored that publishers have supported this goal by giving so liberally this year.”

Operation TBD also aims to encourage all teens to choose reading for pleasure as a leisure activity, over other entertainment options. Inciting the broader teen community to participate in Operation TBD in its drive to spur reading on a national scale, readergirlz has launched a trailer on YouTube ( inviting teens and YA authors to leave a book in a public place on April 16. When visiting, participants can download bookplates to insert into the books they’ll leave behind, which explain the surprise to the recipient and tell them to read and enjoy.

This event is such a special one because it not only raises awareness about teen literature, but it also truly helps those teens most in need. Teens facing illnesses will be able to find an age- appropriate new book to read while in the hospital — teen books matter and not just any old book will do,” said Sarah Cornish Debraski, YALSA president. “Our thanks to the publishers, readergirlz, and Guys Lit Wire. It’s wonderful to unite with these organizations to forward this cause.”

Participating book publishers who have donated books or audiobooks include Abrams Books, Bloomsbury/Walker Books, Candlewick Press, Full Cast Audio, Hachette Book Group, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hyperion, Milkweed, Mirrorstone Books, Orca Book Publishers, Peachtree Books, Perseus Book Group/Running Press, Random House, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Soft Skull Press & Red Rattle Books, TOKYOPOP and Tor/Forge/Starscape/Tor Teen.

“Putting the right book into the hands of a teen can turn that teen into a reader for life, “ said Suzanne Murphy, VP and Group Publisher, Scholastic Trade Book Publishing. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to help Operation TBD show teens firsthand just how much fun reading can be.”

Pediatric hospitals that have signed up to receive books include Phoenix Children's Hospital (Phoenix, Ariz.), Rady's Children's Hospital (San Diego, Calif.), Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Children's Hospital and Research Center (Oakland, Calif.), All Children's Hospital (St. Petersburg, FL), Children's Memorial Hospital (Chicago, Ill.), UM C.S. Mott Children's Hospital (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics (Kansas City, MO), The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Children's Medical Center in Dallas, Mary Bridge Children's Hospital & Health Center (Tacoma, Wash.) and Seattle Children's Hospital.

“Our teen patients here at Seattle Children’s loved the books donated through the Operation Teen Book Drop last year,” said Kim Korte, Child Life Manager, Seattle Children’s Hospital. “Books are a wonderful avenue for our patients to be distracted from the pain and stress of hospitalization. We are always in need of books and greatly appreciate the generosity of the publishers who donated.”

Everyone who participates in Operation TBD is invited to celebrate at the TBD Post-Op Party on April 16 at 6 p.m. Pacific Time on the readergirlz blog:

About Support Teen Literature Day

For the third consecutive year, Support Teen Literature Day will be celebrated April 16, 2009 in conjunction with ALA’s National Library Week. Librarians all across the country are encouraged to participate in Support Teen Literature Day by hosting events in their library. The purpose of this new celebration is to raise awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today’s teens. Support Teen Literature Day also seeks to showcase award-winning authors and books in the genre as well as highlight librarians’ expertise in connecting teens with books and other reading materials.

About the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos, and audiobooks for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, visit or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390, or email,

About readergirlz

readergirlz is the foremost online book community for teen girls, led by five critically acclaimed YA authors—Dia Calhoun (Avielle of Rhia), Holly Cupala (A Light That Never Goes Out) Lorie Ann Grover (Hold Me Tight), Justina Chen Headley (North of Beautiful), and Melissa Walker (the Violet series). readergirlz is the recipient of a 2007 James Patterson PageTurner Award.

To promote teen literacy and leadership in girls, readergirlz features a different YA novel and corresponding community service project every month. For more information about readergirlz, please visit and, or contact

About Guys Lit Wire

Guys Lit Wire brings literary news and reviews to the attention of teenage boys and the people who care about them. Working to combat the perception that teen boys aren’t as well read as teen girls, the organization seeks out literature uniquely targeted toward teen male readers in hopes of bringing attention of good books to guys who might have missed them.

Ó2009 readergirlz

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Random Book Giveaway - Doing It by Melvin Burgess

Because my blog is just starting off, I'd like to give away a book that I read a while ago and enjoyed, and hopefully gain some readers for my blog in the process!

Doing It by Melvin Burgess

Summary from Amazon:
" Melvin Burgess, author of Smack, has written what is potentially the most controversial young adult novel ever. Doing It is an honest and funny book about three teenage British boys learning about themselves and life through their sexual experiences. But here's the catch: the story is told from the point of view of the hormone-sodden young males, naughty bits and all.

Gorgeous Dino thinks that equally gorgeous Allie should realize that they belong together and is puzzled and frustrated when their passionate lovemaking always ends with her refusing him. Jonathan fancies sensible, sexy Deborah but can't admit it to his friends, even after several steamy grope sessions, because she is…well…plump. And Ben is living every teenage boy's dream, an affair with a lusty teacher--but somehow it's getting to be too much of a good thing."

To enter, just leave a comment with your name and email address. :)

Extra entries:
+1 Post about this contest in your blog (sidebar is fine too)
+2 Become a follower
+2 Tell me about the book you're currently reading!

Open to: USA only, due to shipping costs. It's hardback.

Deadline: April 28th (my birthday!)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Review: Leftovers

Laura Wiess

Blair and Ardith are best friends who have committed an unforgivable act in the name of love and justice. But in order to understand what could drive two young women to such extreme measures, first you'll have to understand why. You'll have to listen as they describe parents who are alternately absent and smothering, classmates who mock and shun anyone different, and young men who are allowed to hurt and dominate without consequence. You will have to learn what it's like to be a teenage girl who locks her bedroom door at night, who has been written off by the adults around her as damaged goods. A girl who has no one to trust except the one person she's forbidden to see. You'll have to understand what it's really like to be forgotten and abandoned in America today. Are you ready?

When I first picked up this book, I had the feeling that it would be one that I'll want to read over and over again. I was right. This book was hard to read sometimes, both because of the somewhat disturbing storyline and because of the author constantly switching narrators and styles of writing. But there was a reason for it, and it's easier and seems more natural to read it that way after you get used to it. This was an amazing book and I couldn't put it down. There was always so much going on, with Blair's overly-controlling parents, and Ardith's parents who hold out-of-control parties that involve lots of drinking, sex, and her father feeling up girls in the hallway. With rumors that start getting spread around, and Blair's parents forbidding her to see Ardith after one night went wrong, it's hard for them to stick together. I love how even though they drifted apart because of all of it, they never really gave up on each other.
If you've never read this book, I urge you to go out and read it.

Overall rating: 5/5