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Showing posts with label LibbaBray. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LibbaBray. Show all posts

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014

Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014

First I must state the last few years have seen serious changes in my reading habits and volume, but it did pick up again this quarter. Some of the changes if that now I have three children ages 8, 6 and 3. Some if it is ever new and expanding responsibilities at work and the volume of training involved with that. This quarter I only read 29 books and all but one was fiction. You can see the list of all books read here, and favourite books here. There is even a favourite list of authors each year here

Fiction:
1. Blood of my Blood - I Hunt Killers #3 - Barry Lyga
2. Stone in the Sky - Cecil Castellucci - Tin Star Book 2
3. The Iron Trial - Magisterium Book 1 - Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
4. The I Hunt Killers Short Stories - Barry Lyga
Lucky Day - Career Day - Neutral Mask - Blood Boy
5. We Have Always Lived on Mars - Cecil Castellucci

7. Brother Prince Snake - Cecil Castellucci
8. Strongest Conjuration - Skyler White - An Incrementalist Short Story
9. When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami - Goddess War 0.5 - Kendare Blake
10. Wee Danny - Gerard Brennan


Non-Fiction
6. The Big Picture: 11 Laws That Will Change Your Life - Tony Horton

So another good 3 months and some great books. Four of these authors contributed to Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd an anthology I read a few years back. I have since read books by almost all the contributors and almost all of the books by some of them. It was an amazing collection and will introduce you to some incredible authors. The books I read this quarter were, Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga's Page the final book in the Jasper Dent series and it was incredible. The Second book I read The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black it is the first book in a new series Magisterium and if the next 4 are as good it will be another great series. The final book I am currently read was Stone in the Sky the sequel to Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci also an incredible read it is weeks later and I am still mulling it over. But it all stemed from reading Geektastic. The other contributors to that collection are:
Tracy Lynn
Scott Westerfeld
M.T. Anderson
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Greg Leitich Smith
David Levithan
Garth Nix
Lisa Yee
Kelly Link
John Green
Sara Zarrm
Wendy Mass
Libba Bray.



Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More  

Statistics Books Read By Year:

92 - 2014 - January-September
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996









Sunday, 1 January 2012

Top 10 Fiction Books 2011

I only read about a third as many books in 2011 as I did in 2010. In Part dues to having a newborn in the house and in part due to changing roles and training for work. Between with that in 2011 I read 163 books and my top ten fictions books for the year were:

1.
This Dark Endeavour: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein - Kenneth Oppel
2. Clockwork Prince - Infernal Devices book 2 - Cassandra Clare
3. Beauty Queen's - Libba Bray
4. Gardians of Ga'Hoole and Wolves of the Beyond - Kathryn Lansky
The Capture - The Journey - The Rescue - The Siege
Lone Wolf - Shadow Wolf - Watch Wolf
5. Underland Chronicles -
Suzanne Collins
Gregor the Overlander - The Prophecy of Bane - Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods
6. Bluefish - Pat Schmatz
7. Empire of Ruins - Hunchback Assignments #3 - Arthur Slade
8. First Day On Earth - Cecil Castellucci
9. Spiderwick Chronicles - Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizziThe Field Guide, The Seeing Stone, Lucinda's Secret, The Ironwood Tree and The Wrath of Mulgarath
The Nixie's Song, A Giant Problem, The Wyrm King
10. The Unwritten Girl - Unwritten Book 1 - James Bow

This year I limited my top ten picks to books read for the first time in 2011. I did not include rereading for the best of the year.

Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Top 10 Fiction Books of the 4th Quarter 2011

Top 10 Fiction Books of the 4th Quarter 2011

1. Clockwork Prince - Infernal Devices book 2 - Cassandra Clare
2. Mrs. Estronsky and the U.F.O. - Pat Schmatz
3. Watch Wolf - Wolves of the Beyond #3 - Kathryn Lasky
4.
Beauty Queen's - Libba Bray
5. Shideshow - Ed. by Deborah Noyes
6. The Visitors - Clone Codes Book 3 - The McKissacks
7. The Start-Up - Sadie Hayes
8. The Battle Begins - Underworlds Book 1 - Tony Abbott
9. Stink and the Midnight Zombie Walk - Megan McDonald and Peter H Reynolds
 
Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More
 
Statistics Books Read By Year:
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996

Friday, 2 December 2011

Beauty Queens - Libba Bray

Beauty Queens
Libba Bray
Scholastic

ISBN 9780439895972

eISBN: 9780545388719

Libba Bray states that two different people said to her: "A plane full of beauty queens crashes on a deserted island. And … GO!" They were David Levithan and Ann Marie Anderson, both of whom we should be extremely thankful for. For this was an awesome read! The story is about the Miss Teen Dream Pageant contestants. They are on their way to an island for the rehearsals before the big show when their plane crashes on a desert island. A number of the contestants survive the crash, but none of the chaperons or adults do.

But the story is a little more complicated than just young women stuck on an island like a female version of Lord of the Flies. There are Reality TV Pirates, a crazy dictator from a country with an embargo against it, Lady Bird Hope, a former Miss Teen Dream and CEO of the Corporation who is all about the money and power, an Enviro Warrior looking to reclaim his tribal land. All these and more make the cast on this desert island very different from Gilligan's but extremely entertaining.

This book was very well written. I have already recommended it to about a dozen people who have all loved it. The story is so far out there and yet you find yourself cheering for these young women as they pull it together and realize they are more than just pretty faces. They are learning to discover who they really are and what they want in life. It was a great read. Highly entertaining.

Books by Libba Bray:

The Gemma Doyle Trilogy

A Great and Terrible Beauty (2003)
Rebel Angels (2005)
The Sweet Far Thing (2007)

Other Books:
Kari - Sweet 16 #3 (2000)
Going Bovine (2009)
Beauty Queens (2011)

Contributed to:
21 Proms (2007)
The Restless Dead (2007)
Up All Night (2008)
Vacations from Hell (2009)
The Eternal Kiss (2009)
Geektastic (2009)
Zombies vs. Unicorns (2011)

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Vacations From Hell - Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Claudia Gray, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Mlynowski

Vacations From Hell
Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Claudia Gray, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Mlynowski

Harper Collins
Browse Inside
ISBN 9780061688720

ISBN 9780061861673 eBook


This year I have found a renewed interest and love for short fiction. I like anthologies for the opportunity to discover or experience different authors in a short time frame. I had encountered two of the authors in this collection in Geektastic, and enjoyed their work, the other authors in this assortment I had heard fabulous things about, so I wanted to give it a try, I was not disappointed. There are five amazing stories by five gifted authors in this collection and it will wet your appetite to read more by these writers. So come and take a journey through 5 vacations from hell. I am also looking forward to the sister volumes from this one, Love is Hell and Prom Nights From Hell. So let's take a look at each of our contributors and their contribution.

Crusin' - Sarah Mlynowski
What would you do if you were on a cruise ship with a close friend and a new friend, and the newspaper has stories about passengers going missing. What About if you started noticing people were missing from your ship. What is the newspaper says 'Vampires Attack Cruise Ships'. Would you be scared, or whould you think it is a joke. In this very interesting twist on vampires, and girls just looking to have fun read and find out. Sarah Mlynowski has written numerous novels, Bras & Broomsticks, Frogs & French Kisses, Spells & Sleeping Bags and more. Originally from Montreal, Sarah now lives and writes live from New York City.

I Don't Like Your Girlfriend - Claudia Gray
Claudia Gray is the author of Evernight, Stargazer and Hourglass. Prior to being a fulltime writer she worked as a lawyer, a journalist, a disc jockey, and an extremely poor waitress. She lives in New York City. In this story, Claudia Gray in this story weaves a tale of a women's fraternity of witches, it is a reunion of a coven from university, a group of women who get together every summer with their families, and practice their arts. Their husbands have grown close through these yearly trips but know nothing about their true or ultimate purpose. Cecily Harper hates the annual trips or more importantly she hates her arch nemesis Kathleen Pruitt. Kathleen is prettier, has more money and always puts Cecily down. But these young witches are not suppose to be working major magic on their own. But rivalry can either bring out the best or the worst in a person. Find out what happens in this case.

The Law Of Suspects - Maureen Johnson
In this story two sisters from the states are visiting France and some distance relatives. They meet strange men and their life starts to go sideways. Unlike Vegas what happens in France may not always stay in France. Maureen Johnson is the critically acclaimed author of 13 Little Blue Envelopes, The Key to the Golden Firebird, Girl at Sea and Suite Scarlett. She lives, writes blogs and tweets from New York City.

The Mirror House - Cassandra Clare
Mixed families can be bad at the best of times, but what if step brother and step sister kind of have the hots for each other? What if Stepdad starts verbally and physically abusing the mom on the honeymoon? Then what if the natives are warning you about the woman next door, that she has dark magic? This is a tremendous story by Cassandra Clare is the bestselling author of City of Bones, City Of Ashes, and City of Glass. City of Bones was a Locus Award finalist for Best First Novel and an ALA Teens' Top Ten winner. She is also the author of the upcoming YA fantasy trilogy The Infernal Devices. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her boyfriend and cats.

Nowhere Is Safe - Libba Bray
Four friends are touring through Europe before starting college in the fall. They decide to visit a small town with a festival in a town of Necuratul, a town legend has it made a deal with the devil for protection and prosperity. But with hard times and the town slated to be wiped out for a powerplant, maybe they are looking to return to the old ways. A fantastic story and maybe we will see more. Libba Bray is the New York Times bestselling author of the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far. She also currently resides in New York City.

These five authors from New York has cast spells, told tales, brought luck and hopefully they will entertain you as much as they did me, in this incredible collection.


Friday, 15 January 2010

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd - Ed. Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd
Ed. Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
Little Brown
ISBN 9780316008099

This is an amazing collection of fiction with everything from sci-fi conventions, to cheerleaders, to star gazing and prep schools. Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci came up with the idea for the first story in this collection in 2007 at Comic-Con in San Diego. The story would be a nerd love story - a Jedi and a Klingon wake up in bed at a Science Fiction convention together not remembering exactly what happened. They realize that their preferred alternate realities, theologies and practices are diametrically opposed, and yet they find they like each other. But soon upon having the idea for the story they realized nob
ody would publish it, so they went to their geek friends far and wide and asked them to contribute to a collection, and what an amazing collection it is.

To be honest, I picked it up because Holly Black was one of the editors and I generally really appreciate and enjoy her work. And yet it surpassed all my expectations; I plan on tracking down works from a number of contributors and reading them from the pieces found in this collection. Their work will be great. The contributors are:

Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
Tracy Lynn
Scott Westerfeld
Cassandra Clare

M.T. Anderson
Cynthia Leitich Smith and Greg Leitich Smith
David Levithan
Garth Nix
Lisa Yee
Kelly Link
John Green
Barry Lyga
Sara Zarr
Wendy Mass
Libba Bray

And between each short story is a comic, illustrated either by Bryan Lee O'Malley or Hope Larson. The back of the dust jacket gives definitions of both geek and geektastic. They are:


Geek \gek\ n: 1. A person often of an intellectual bent who is disliked 2. A person who is so passionate about a given subject or subjects as to occasionally cause annoyance among others

geek-tas-tic \ gek-tas-tic\ adj: marked by fantastic geek qualities; a compliment of the highest regard


Number 1. From geek might be is a real definition. This book will help make the others so as well. For geek is the new chic. To be a geek is now cool and this collection has something for every flavor of geek: Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr. Who, Comics, and much, much more. I was surprised that I enjoyed every story in the collection. Usually with anthologies, a few stories stick out as great, a few suck and a few are ok. I actually appreciate the art of each piece in the collection. That speaks much about the editors but also the authors that contributed. Reading this collection brought back memories of high school, Queen's University and my time here at UWaterloo. Just as a side note, the images on the covers are representations of our contributors, and there are a few different versions of the covers because the figures are not always in the same order. Each represents the story they told or the characters in those stories. It's geeky but fun to link them together as you work through the book. And as a second aside, I would love to see an audio book come out either as dramatized or each author reading their piece.

Knowing I will not do them justice, I will try to provide a brief summary of each of the stories in this wonderful collection.

Once You're a Jedi, You're a Jedi All the Way
Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci have woven a wonderful tale about different world views colliding and then settling. It is an excellent story of a Jedi and a Klingon who fall in love. As the best stories do, it leaves you wanting to know what happens next. Black is best known for her part in the duo that created The Spiderwick Chronicles, and Castelluci has won awards for both her novels and graphic novels. By far, this is one of my favorite pieces in the collection.

One of Us
In this interesting story by Tracy Lynn, a cheerleader goes to the Games club so they can teach her Geek. Her boyfriend is into Original Trek, and the Lord of the Rings.
She wants to understand him better so she pays the geeks to teach her. They set up a schedule to teach her - movies, tv, comics and more. She is doing this for love, but as many of us know, at times, love sucks. Lynn has published numerous books including Snow, RX, and The Nine Lives of Chloe.

Definitional Chaos
Can a last kiss ever be good? In this story Scott Westerfeld takes us on an adventure between two people who were once in a relationship and are now trusted with taking eighty-four thousand dollars by train to pay for convention fees. He doesn't trust her, and she loves pushing his buttons. But in reality she is looking for resolution to their already-ended relationship. It is a great story and would read a little like a Robert B. Parker story if he spoke geek instead of just tough. Westerfeld is the author of So Yesterday, Peeps and The Last Day.

I Never
Cassandra Clare is bestselling author of City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass (Not to be confused with Douglas Coupland's book by the same title.) This again is another love story but about two people from an online game who meet at a gatheri
ng of members from the game. It does not go nearly as planned. Jane was in the online game playing as who she is in the real word and her Heathcliff is not, or at least not who she thinks Heathcliff is. It is fun, funny and quirky in the way that is best enjoyed by those who have met in real life someone they met online previously.

The King of Plinesse
Having met a number of the authors I really appreciate, I have enjoyed the experience. I have however never gone to one's house to meet them unannounced. Of course it might be different if I was under the impression the author in question had had an affair with my mother. It is interesting that M.T. Anderson writes a story about a fan contacting an author when he is the only contributor to the collection without a personal or
professional website I could find. It is an interesting story but in my opinion it is the weakest in the collection. (Website released late march 2010.)

The Wrath of Dawn
This story by Cynthia Leitich Smith and Greg Leitich Smith is both about the geek and the blended family. It is the story of a Dawn who relates to Dawn from Buffy, and yet it has a strength and power in her protestations over her situation in life. A good well-balanced story.

Quiz Bowl Antichrist
My favorite quote from this whole book comes from this story: "My social status was the same as a water fountain in the hall - people were happy enough I was there when they needed me, but otherwise they walked on by." This story written by David Levithan is about sexuality and self discovery. It is about a boy who doesn't realize
it, but he is in love with one of the other boys on the Quiz Bowl team, and that is really the only reason he does it. Things come to a head when the team has traveled to compete in the nationals. The story is well and tastefully done by the author of such books as Boy Meets Boy, the Realm of Possibility and Marley's Ghost to name but a few.

The Quiet Knight
It is hard to imagine someone who likes science fiction or fantasy who has not heard of Garth Nix. This is a great story for anyone who wanted to fight in armor or play with swords. The Quiet Knight
had damaged vocal cords but he loves to role play, especially simulated battles. But his role playing world and his life at school are about to collide. It is definitely one of the top 3 stories in the collection.

Everyone But You
Lisa Yee creates a story about a girl who is the queen bee at her current highschool but when her family moves to Hawaii she becomes the lowest on the school totem pole. But it is also the story of her learning what really matters and how to face adversity. This is a good story by author of Millicent Min, Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time and Absolutely Maybe.


Secret Identity
Kelly Link writes a story that is a long, rambling letter from a 15 year old girl who had pretended to be much older in an online game. Then when she sneaks off to New York to meet her online romance, things do not go as planned, and this story is her true confession. It is a story with superheroes, (of the convention kind) and personalities both flamboyant and somber. It is the longest piece in the collection and has a certain charm, but not one of the best. Link has authored Pretty Monsters and Stranger Things Happen (both of which are reminiscent of Chuck Palahniuk books Invisible Monsters and Stranger than Fiction.)

Freak the Geek
In one of the shortest pieces in the collection John Green presents a story about life at a girls' prep school - a story where the senior class picks two geeks to pick on as part of the school's tradition. It is told from the perspective of those to be freaked. John Green is award-winning author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns.

The Truth About Dino Girl
Revenge of the Nerd, told from a girl's perspective is the best way to describe this story by Barry Lyga. They say Revenge is a dish best served cold. In this one, be cautious of the woman wronged, especially if that woman is a geek. This is a dark tale of what people can do to each other after being hurt. It is a powerf
ul piece of storytelling, and captures the damage that a few words or actions can cause. Lyga is the author of The Astonishing adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl.

This is My Audition Monologue
This story was the one I enjoyed the least. Sara Zarr presents a piece about a drama club person who is auditioning in her senior year. She does a long rambling piece about her 4 years doing behind the scene work for school plays, and that the guy who was electrocuted last year doing lighting should have been her. With lots of pop culture, film and theatre reference, it is an ok piece, just did not appeal to me. Zarr has two critically-acclaimed novels, Sweethearts and Story of a Gi
rl. She has also contributed to numerous anthologies.

The Stars at the Finish Line
Wendy Mass is the author of eight novels including A Mango-Shaped Space, Jeremy Find and Heaven Looks A Lot Like The Mall. This is the story of two young people who have been competing since the 4th grade, and now in their final year realize they are more alike than different. They go on a field trip to try to complete the Messier Marathon. This ranks as one of the top three stories for me - fantastic storytelling and amazing information on astronomy.

It's Just a Jump to the Left
This is a short story with young girls who weekly attend the Rocky Horror Picture Show. They both wish life were different and for their age are dealing with major things in life. But the weekly trips to the show, dress
ed up in costume, are what unites them together and sets them apart. Libba Bray writes a very interesting piece dealing with many issues, disease, hope, despair and frustration.

This is an amazing collection both because of the individual pieces,
and because it can introduce you to so many new authors to pursue. It is well written and very well edited. Pick it up for either your outer geek or your secret, hidden inner geek. I am sure there is something you will enjoy, laugh at, or maybe even cry with.

(First Published in Imprint 2010-01-15.)