Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Love Affair With NetGalley!

Sometimes dreams do come true! When I was a kid and went to see 101 Dalmations 101 times... who would ever have thought it possible that one day you might be able to actually OWN a copy of it and watch it at home in your own living room??? VCRs were a dream come true back in the day.
And for a reader, book reviewer and librarian whose life is pretty much ALL about reading and recommending... when my librarian daughter told me about NetGalley, I was "WHAT???? This sounds like the best thing ever!!!!!!" . An online service that allows you to choose the titles, if approved by the publishers, of new and upcoming titles that you hope you'll love and review and recommend like crazy!!!!
Some of my very favorite new titles were NetGalley finds that uploaded to my Kindle and now have found their way to our patrons either on the shelves or through our downloadable service! It is a win/win for everyone!
Hooray for NetGalley and the wonderful staff who keep those suggestions coming! I don't review every title I read because the Militant Recommender tries to review a book a week and they have to be the best of the best...but that doesn't mean those titles don't get recommended at the library. They do! And to friends and other librarians and sometimes, if I can do it in between everything else, on Goodreads!
So, NetGalley, I LOVE you! Thanks to you I read "Code Name Verity", "Hawk Quest", "Cobweb Bride", "Break My Heart 1,000 Times" and "Fangirl" to name a very few of the outstanding works I've read and raved about. I am taking the Netgalley "Wellness" Pledge which I hope will keep me on my toes as far as posting reviews! Plus access to webinars!  If you are a librarian, book store staff or a reviewer, then check out the wonder that is NetGalley!!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Summer Secrets: "On Little Wings" by Regina Sirois

Jennifer is 16. She lives a happy life with her parents in Nebraska. She is surrounded by wheat fields and has the golden coloring of the waving grains...according to her mother, and a nose full of freckles. She has a beautiful and smart friend, Cleo, who is almost like a sister, as Jennifer is an only child. As are both Jennifer's parents.
One day, while leafing through an old paperback she comes across a photo stuck in its pages. She loosens it and pulls it out and feels like she's looking at a skewed version of herself. A golden girl in a ballet leotard leaning against a car. With a nose full of freckles.
She shows the photo to her parents, and...World War III! The photo is Jennifer's Aunt Sarah! Here she thought she didn't have any relatives. Her mother said she was an only child, and she had a beautiful big sister she never spoke of except now she is screaming and yelling things about Sarah like "She killed my mother!" Jennifer retreats to Cleo's and fills her in. "You have to call her!" Cleo insists and after scanning through the Sarah Dyers (her mother's maiden name) and narrows it down to one who lives in Smithport, Maine. Cleo gives her some privacy and Jennifer calls. A woman answers. They connect! 
After a lot of argument from her mother, Jennifer buys her own ticket to go an meet her only other relative. Sarah turns out to be the most awesome relative a girl could have. She lives on the beach, has been a teacher for years and helps out her neighbor's very bright kids including Nathan, a brooding, handsome teen boy who spends time at Sarah's on a nightly basis reciting, quoting and even writing poems, essays, and whatever has words with meaning that will launch a discussion on that given evening. It's a world that Jennifer finds more and more intriguing as she uncovers her family secrets and learns her heritage bit by bit in this charming coming of age novel. If you are looking for a perfect summer book then you couldn't go too far wrong taking along On Little Wings in your beach bag!