Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: The Near Witch

This week is a very special WoW for me, as I was fortunate enough to meet the talented, adorable, and very sweet Victoria Schwab at the Decatur Book Festival last month. At the time, I'd seen her here and there on Twitter, and had heard little bits about her upcoming book, The Near Witch, to know that both she and it warranted looking out for. Since then, we've gotten to know each other and I can honestly say that she is awesome + sauce x 1000.

Look how cute she is revealing her book cover!

Come ON, how could you NOT want to run out to and pre-order a copy when you know the author is so fab? Right? RIGHT? Well then, click this link and do it: The Near Witch on

Wait, you want to know what it's ABOUT? Fine. Here's the pitch:

"The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.
There are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget."

*pre-orders The Near Witch* That last line in the pitch is just beautiful! I cannot wait to read this book! It sounds a little creepy (which I like), and a great story to go with. I'm in!

So, to sum up:
Victoria = awesome
The Near Witch = sounds amazing
The Cover = GORGEOUS

There's no question as to why we're waiting anxiously for it!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Reading Rainbow: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

**SPOILER ALERT** This post contains just one spoiler - and that is what the book Speak is about. If you already know, then this won't spoil anything else for you, if not, don't read this but DO READ THE BOOK! Thanks!

I was hesitant to rec this week's book because I was thinking that most of you have read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. But then again, maybe you haven't. Maybe you've not read it because it doesn't have any vampires or werewolves or shadowhunters? Yes, I was guilty of that. Or maybe you are putting it off because of the subject matter. Personally, I tend to avoid books about rape, or that I know contain a rape scene . But, last week I finally read Speak, keeping my promise from our #SpeakLoudly give-away, and I am so happy I did.

From Goodreads:
Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute...

I read this from two perspectives: One as a person with first-hand experience with rape. Not myself, but a very close friend in college. I won't say too much there, except that this book got a lot of details right on and brought back a lot of emotions that I'd thought I'd forgotten. And two, I read as a parent. And not just as a parent to a daughter, but also to a son. We all focus on teaching our girls how important it is to protect themselves, but it's also important to focus on teaching our boys exactly why sexual assault is so wrong.

At the end of the edition of Speak that I read, there is an interview with Laurie Halse Anderson. She said she was shocked that many young men asked her why it (sexual assault) was such a big deal to girls. (I'm paraphrasing because I've already lent my copy out.) That struck me and made me realize that we need to Speak up to our boys just as much as we do to our girls. I think every parent should read this book, and when the time is right, their children should too. (Take that Mr. Scroggins!!)

Aside from my personal feelings about Speak, I should also say that it was extremely well written and I found myself laughing, crying, shaking (with anger), and cheering. It's a book filled with memorable characters (I loved Melinda's art teacher!) and moments that I will not soon forget. I fully intend to read this book again and again.

Have you read Speak? What are your thoughts? If not, are you planning on reading?