Tag Archives: young adult

Review: L.A. Candy, by Lauren Conrad

L.A. CandyJane Roberts and Scarlett Harp, best friends since grade school, are rooming together in L.A.; Jane is an intern for the famous and infamous event planner, Fiona Chen, and Scarlett’s starting her first semester at USC. While at a local nightclub hotspot, they’re spotted by reality TV producer Trevor Lord, who signs them up to star in his next big reality hit, L.A. Candy, along with heiress Madison and the somewhat ditzy Gaby.

Jane soon finds herself right in the middle of the spotlight as L.A. Candy explodes onto the reality TV scene. She’s a star, now, and getting the celebrity treatment from everyone. The problem? As Jane will discover, celebrity status isn’t always fun and games.

Sounds pretty good, right?

If it weren’t for one big thing, I’d probably be writing something like “A fast, easy read. While the characters tend toward stereotypes, the behind-the-scenes look at reality television is interesting. The storyline picks up pace midway through the book, propelling the reader to a satisfying …”

And that’s the problem. You see, I can’t write that the reader is propelled to a satisfying ending.

The thing is, L.A. Candy, by Lauren Conrad, doesn’t have an ending.

I was rather stunned when I read the last line of the last paragraph and realized there were no more pages to come. In fact, I even went to Amazon, and typed in a sentence from the last paragraph into the “Search inside this book” feature, because I had the vague notion that, perhaps, a few chapters were missing from the end of my copy of the book.

Unfortunately, there were no missing chapters. That was the ending. Or rather, non-ending.

As a reader, I really dislike cliffhanger endings. There’s just something annoying about investing all that time into reading a novel, only to find out you’re not going to be told how things end, not until the next book in the series.

Still, some cliffhanger endings do work; usually, the characters resolve the main storyline, the situation that’s driven them for most of the novel, and then the author slips in a little something extra, leaving everything up in the air again. That’s not the case here. In L.A. Candy, nothing is resolved.

Cliffhangers also generally involve something major. You know, like maybe the fate of the world is hanging in the balance. Big stuff like that. In this particular cliffhanger, though, what’s hanging in the balance doesn’t come anywhere near the fate of the world (well, except maybe to Jane). As a reader, I just didn’t feel that invested in Jane and her story for a cliffhanger ending to work for me.

L.A. Candy is the first book in what looks to be a three-book series. And yes, if it had been titled L.A. Candy, Part I, I wouldn’t have liked the cliffhanger ending any better, but I would have at least been prepared for it. In this case, for me that element of surprise most certainly did not work to the book’s advantage.

The Rest of This Review

Leaving aside my antipathy for cliffhanger endings, and understanding that not every reader shares this dislike, here’s the rest of my review, in list format:

  1. Jane Roberts is, as her name indicates, the average girl next door. The problem I had with her was that she was just a little too bland. I do understand that TV viewers always love the girl next door, but as a reader, I would have liked a little bit more.
  2. On the other hand, I loved Scarlett Harp, Jane’s brainy and gorgeous friend. I found myself wishing she had a larger role in the book.
  3. Being in a reality TV show is definitely not all fun and games. I thought the book did a pretty good job of showing a behind-the-scenes look at how it would feel to be a reality TV star.
  4. Conflict isn’t introduced until midway through the novel, which is probably a little late in the game; however, I found the glimpse into the making of a reality TV show, which takes up most of the first half of the novel, interesting enough to compensate for the lack of conflict initially.
  5. Once the hint of conflict was introduced, you could pretty well see the shape and form it would take from a mile away; still, it had me reading quickly to see how things would go. Until that non-ending, of course. But wait. I said I wasn’t going to talk about that here, didn’t I?

All in all, this would have been a light, easy read, perfect for the beach, if it weren’t for the cliffhanger ending. On the other hand, I am, obviously, not the target market for this novel. With this in mind, I’ve given my copy of L.A. Candy to a friend of my daughter who is 16, an avid reader, and also happens to watch The Hills – in other words, solidly within the target market. I’ll be interested to see what she thinks.

Where to buy L.A. Candy:

U.S. (Amazon.com) | IndieBound | Canada (Chapters) | UK (Amazon.co.uk)

Review copy details: published by Harper Teen, 2009, ARC, 326 pages

Another Book-Buying Binge! (Or, Why I Shouldn’t Go To Costco Anymore)

Yesterday I accidentally indulged in another book-buying binge. Yes, in case you’re wondering, it was totally by accident. I had no intentions of splurging on anything when I entered Costco.

Unfortunately, since it’s summer, the book section at Costco is a dangerous place for a book lover to be. I think the marketing assumption is that in the summer, people buy books to read on the beach or on holidays.

I’m thinking now that those marketing people are geniuses. Either that, or I’m extraordinarily susceptible to marketing ploys. (Okay, so maybe it’s the latter.)

Here’s the stack I came home with:

CIMG2505

And here are the covers:

It Would Be Funny... If It Wasn't My Life, by Lisa DowTailSpin, by Catherine CoulterThe Last Oracle, by James RollinsThe Flying Troutmans, by Miriam ToewsWicked: Witch & Curse, by Nancy Holder and Debbie ViguiéThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg LarssonExit Lines, by Joan BarfootThe Society of S, by Susan HubbardThe Year of Disappearances, by Susan HubbardHow To Be Single, by Liz TuccilloThe Book of God and Physics, by Enrique JovenBrainMatics Logic Puzzles, by H. F. UllmannOne Fifth Avenue, by Candace BushnellDK Encyclopedia of Animals, by DK Publishing

I’m not sure when I’ll have the time to read these. I do, however, feel good knowing I now have them on hand, for whenever the right reading mood strikes.

Want to know something even sadder? Do you see the BrainMatics Logic Puzzles? My husband (who happens to be just as bad when it comes to cookbooks, by the way) happened to slip a copy of this one into the cart, too, thinking I’d enjoy it. So we came home with TWO copies. I’m promising myself I won’t give in to temptation again when we go back to Costco to return the duplicate copy.

Do you go on book-buying binges occasionally? Please say yes!

Vacation Reading List

I’ve finally pared down my vacation reading list – room is limited, unfortunately, so I had to be very selective. Here’s what I’ll be taking with me on holidays.

Print books:

Dead Until DarkStorm FrontLiving Dead in DallasYsabelL.A. CandyCrossed WiresExcuses BegoneThe StrainEncyclopedia of an Ordinary LifeThe Language of BeesGhost Huntress

Audiobooks:

Mad MouseWhack a MoleHell HoleMind ScramblerFinger Lickin' FifteenI'm a Stranger Here Myself

Ebooks:

The Dragon Riders of PernThe Demon's LexiconDeath by LatteSecrets of My Hollywood Life

I’m probably not going to be able to read all of these books, but I figure I’ll have something for nearly every reading mood that strikes me.

What’s on your reading list this summer?

Incoming! L.A. Candy, by Lauren Conrad

Incoming! is a feature at Ms. Bookish that chronicles new books that have arrived in the Ms. Bookish household. Here’s one of the latest new arrivals:

L.A. Candy, by Lauren Conrad

L.A. CandyAbout the Book:

Los Angeles is all about the sweet life: hot clubs, cute guys, designer . . . everything. Nineteen-year-old Jane Roberts can’t wait to start living it up. She may be in L.A. for an internship, but Jane plans to play as hard as she works, and has enlisted her BFF Scarlett to join in the fun.

When Jane and Scarlett are approached by a producer who wants them to be on his new series, a “reality version of Sex and the City,” they can hardly believe their luck. Their own show? Yes, please!

Soon Jane is TV’s hottest star. Fame brings more than she ever imagined possible for a girl from Santa Barbara—free designer clothes, the choicest tables at the most exclusive clubs, invites to Hollywood premieres—and she’s lapping up the VIP treatment with her eclectic entourage of new pals. But those same friends who are always up for a wild night are also out for a piece of Jane’s spotlight.

In a city filled with people chasing after their dreams, it’s not long before Jane wakes up to the reality that everyone wants something from her, and nothing is what it seems to be.

L.A. Candy is a deliciously entertaining novel about what it’s like to come of age in Hollywood while starring in a reality TV show, written by a girl who has experienced it all firsthand: Lauren Conrad.

First lines: “Jane Roberts leaned against her dresser, studying the way her white, silk nightie looked against her sun-kissed skin. Her loose blond curls cascaded softly over her shoulders as she pretended not to be interested in the guy in her bed.”

Where I got this book: Harper Collins Canada

My initial thoughts:

I’’m about a third of the way through L.A. Candy – I’d been hoping to be finished in time to post the review around the book’s release date, but then deadlines caught up with me. I’m at the part where Jane and her best friend Scarlett are being offered roles in the reality show L.A. Candy. I find myself really liking Scarlett in particular – there’s something so quirky and independent about her. It’s shaping up to be a fun read so far.

Related Links and other Fun Stuff

About the author: Lauren Conrad is the star of MTV’s number-one hit show, The Hills. She launched her career as a fashion designer in Spring 2008 with the debut of the Lauren Conrad Collection. Lauren has been featured on the covers of Cosmopolitan, Rolling Stone, Seventeen, and Entertainment Weekly, among others. She lives in Los Angeles. This is her first novel.

Browse inside L.A. Candy

Where to buy L.A. Candy:: U.S. (Amazon.com) | IndieBound | Canada (Chapters) | UK (Amazon.co.uk)

Flash Review: Jinx, by Meg Cabot

Jinx, by Meg Cabot

Jinx

The only thing Jean Honeychurch hates more than her boring name (not Jean Marie, or Jeanette, just . . . Jean) is her all-too-appropriate nickname, Jinx. Misfortune seems to follow her everywhere she goes—which is why she’s thrilled to be moving in with her aunt and uncle in New York City. Maybe when she’s halfway across the country, Jinx can finally outrun her bad luck. Or at least escape the havoc she’s caused back in her small hometown.

But trouble has definitely followed Jinx to New York. And it’s causing big problems for her cousin Tory, who is not happy to have the family black sheep around. Beautiful, glamorous Tory is hiding a dangerous secret—one that she’s sure Jinx is going to reveal.

Jinx is beginning to realize it isn’t just bad luck she’s been running from. It’s something far more sinister . . . and the curse Jinx has lived under since the day she was born might just be the only thing that can save her life.

My thoughts: I have always had a special spot in my heart for Meg Cabot’s works, particularly the novels in which she combines chick lit elements with the supernatural. If you’ve only ever read Cabot’s Princess Diaries series, or perhaps her Heather Wells mysteries, you might be surprised to discover that Cabot has an excellent touch with supernatural topics.

I once bought all six of the books in her Mediator series and polished them off during one lovely long weekend. More recently, I found myself a little bit disappointed with Airhead (only because it felt more like a prequel to Being Nikki) so I was pleased when I read Jinx shortly after (it’s an older release that I picked up from the library). In Jinx all the elements that make a great Cabot story are there, plus enough of the supernatural to occasionally send a slight shiver down your back. (Only occasionally, though – this is not a thriller nor a horror, nor is it meant to be.) If you’re looking for a light, interesting teen read with romance and supernatural elements, Jinx is a fantastic choice.

Where to buy: Amazon U.S. | IndieBound | Chapters (Canada) | Amazon UK

My Daughter Directs: A Short Film Inspired by Swimming in the Monsoon Sea

Last semester my daughter, who was fourteen at the time, read Swimming in the Monsoon Sea, by Shyam Selvadurai, for her high school English class. She’s not really much of a reader, but she thought Swimming in the Monsoon Sea was a wonderful book: “It’s tragic and sad, yet beautiful. It makes you really think. A definite tear-jerker.”

Set in Sri Lanka, Swimming in the Monsoon Sea is a coming of age story about 13-year-old Amrith, who begins to feel the first stirrings of sexual feeling and comes to an understanding of his sexual identity after he meets and falls in love with his Canadian cousin Niresh, a loud and confident boy very unlike the people Amrith has grown up with.

My daughter was so taken with this book, she decided to base her Independent Studies Unit project on it. The following short film is inspired by Swimming in the Monsoon Sea; it’s her cinematic interpretation of what Amrith feels when he realizes he is in love with Niresh.

This is her first serious film: she wrote the script, and filmed, directed, and edited it. Her best friend plays the role of Amrith. She recently uploaded the film to YouTube, so I’m happy to have the chance to spotlight it in a post. Of course I’m biased about the film, but I was taken by how well the film evokes the boy’s feelings of angst.

Swimming in the Monsoon Sea was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Awards in 2005 in the category of Children’s Literature; it also won the 2005 Lambda Literary Award in the Children’s/Young Adult category.

You can read a review of the book at:

Things Mean a Lot

SMS Book Reviews

This Week’s Library Loot

I didn’t get a chance to visit the library last week but fortunately (I think) they keep holds for four days and I managed to squeak in at the last minute and pick up another batch of books.

Then the phone rang with another automated message …

So here’s this week’s library loot:

Mystery: The Language of Bees, by Laurie R. King. I’m already sinking my teeth into this one! The latest Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes mystery, I’ve been looking forward to its release for a while now.

Mystery: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley. I stumbled onto this one at another book blog last week and then, when I was at the library picking up my holds, I saw it in the “New in Books” display! Of course I grabbed it with my hot little hands, and I’m already halfway through it. Flavia de Luce, the 11-year-old narrator is really quite a character! I should be finishing this up soon so watch out for the review.

Paranormal: Vampire Academy, by Richelle Mead. This is Book One of the series, and has been on my list for a while now.

Paranormal: Frostbite, by Richelle Mead. Book Two of the Vampire Academy series.

Memoir: Heat, by Bill Buford. The subtitle to this one is “An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany”. I’m reading this one for my food blog.

Young adult/Mystery: Dead and Gone, by Norah McClintock. McClintock caught my attention with her Chloe and Levesque mysteries, which I wrote about here. This book is a different series, but I thought I’d like to give it a try.

Young adult: Suite Scarlett, by Maureen Johnson. I can’t remember how this title ended up on my wish list, but now that I have it, it definitely sounds interesting. Here’s the summary from Amazon:

Scarlett Martin has grown up in a most unusual way. Her family owns the Hopewell, a small hotel in the heart of New York City, and Scarlett lives there with her four siblings – Spencer, Lola, and Marlene. When each of the Martins turns fifteen, they are expected to take over the care of a suite in the once elegant, now shabby Art Deco hotel. For Scarlett’s fifteenth birthday, she gets both a room called the Empire Suite, and a permanent guest called Mrs. Amberson. Scarlett doesn’t quite know what to make of this C-list starlet, world traveler, and aspiring autobiographer who wants to take over her life. And when she meets Eric, an astonishingly gorgeous actor who has just moved to the city, her summer takes a second unexpected turn. Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery, Broadway glamour, romantic missteps, and theatrical deceptions. But in the city where anything can happen, she just might be able to pull it off.

Paranormal/Thriller: Running Hot, by Jayne Ann Krentz. An Arcane Society novel. I have read one of these previously – at least, I think I have. I vaguely remember it being entertaining but obviously it wasn’t one of those memorable reads (or I’d remember more of it, right?). Still, this one looks good, and I love the term “Arcane Society”.

Children’s book/Mystery: The Mask on the Cruise Ship, by Melanie Jackson. Dinah Galloway is a budding diva, enthusiastic gourmand and amateur detective. This one sounds like fun.

Mystery/Audiobook: The Big Four, by Agatha Christie and narrated by Hugh Fraser. I’m still on my Agatha Christie audiobooks kick.

I’ve been getting so many books at the library lately, I’m not as tempted as I normally am when I’m at a book store or in the book aisle at Costco. The thing with library books is that you only have a limited time to read them … and that’s a scary thought when all the recent additions to my TBR are library books!

An Embarrassment of Library Riches

It must be some sort of Murphy’s Law applicable to bibliophiles, I think. Work-wise it’s been quiet around here, which is why I’ve been able to keep up with all my reading even through all the renovations around here, instead of being stuck at my desk pounding on deadline after deadline. I always have a stash of books I’ve requested from the library, and during these past few months, my holds have been trickling in.

And now? Well, on Monday I received a veritable flood of assignments and now have three deadlines all falling due next week. Then I received several automated phone messages from the local library, telling me that books I had requested were now on hold for me.

Today I took a break from work and popped over to the library. I needed two bags to hold everything! An embarrassment of riches indeed – and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that despite my deadlines, I’ll be able to read most of them. I have three weeks, and I can renew books for two additional three-week periods, provided, of course, that no-one else has put in a request for the titles. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll remember to renew any I haven’t read yet online before the due date!

Here’s what I picked up from the library today:

Mystery: Unnatural Fire, by Fidelis Morgan. I think I had this on my list as a result of reading about it at Cathy’s Kittling: Books.

Mystery: Now & Then, by Robert B. Parker. More Spenser!

Mystery/Paranormal: Ghost at Work, by Carolyn Hart. This one wasn’t a request. The library had it in a display, so it’s more of an impulse grab.

Nonfiction: Loch Ness Monsters and Raining Frogs, by Albert Jack. Another one that was on display. Simply couldn’t resist.

Chick Lit: Odd Mom Out, by Jane Porter. By the author of Flirting with Forty, this definitely looks like a good read, although I’m not sure how it ended up on my hold list.

Mystery: In the Woods, by Tana French. I’d heard so much about this book, and I’d like to read it before French’s new novel, The Likeness, comes out in May (in case it’s really good, in which case I’ll have another book to add to my i-want list).

Nonfiction: Himalaya, by Michael Palin. I’ve been wanting to read this for a while; I love travel books, and like Palin’s humor as well.

Memoir: Up Till Now: The Autobiography, by William Shatner. I came across this a while back while on one of my online book-buying sprees; unfortunately, while Amazon has the hardcover version at a bargain price (in anticipation, I think, of the upcoming release of the trade paperback version), Chapters in Canada didn’t. So I checked the library and put myself in the queue for it. I almost picked it as my Audible selection, but the audiobook is abridged, so I thought I’d go for the longer read instead.

Paranormal/Thriller: Blood Sins, by Kay Hooper. I haven’t read Blood Dreams, the first in the Bishop/Special Crimes Unit trilogy, yet, but I’m hoping that it’s the kind of series you can read out of order.

Paranormal/Thriller: Blood Brothers, by Nora Roberts. I haven’t read very many Nora Roberts novels, and this one sounds good. It’s the start of the trilogy, so I may be in for more happy reading with this series …

Young adult/Mystery: Break and Enter, by Norah McClintock. I’ve already raved about this series here.

Children’s fiction: The Strictest School in the World: Being the Tale of a Clever Girl, a Rubber Boy and a Collection of Flying Machines, Mostly Broken, by Howard Whitehouse. I couldn’t resist typing out the full title. I don’t have a clue how I first came across this book, but I suspect all I had to do was read the title and it was writing itself down on my i-want list.

Fantasy/Erotica: Naughty Paris, by Jina Bacarr. I can’t remember where I came across this title, either, but there it was, on my list of requested books. About a woman living in today’s times, a maverick painter in 1889 and a little bit of black magic and (I gather) a whole lot of sex.

Now, if I could just finish up these deadlines so I can succumb to the lure of this embarrassment of library riches!

The Chloe and Levesque Mystery Series

Last month while knee deep in spring cleaning mode, I discovered a set of three books by Norah McClintock that I had purchased last year. The Third Degree, Over the Edge, and Double Cross all feature high-school student Chloe Yan and her stepfather Louis Levesque. McClintock has won five Arthur Ellis awards for juvenile crime fiction (her winning titles include two books from this particular series), and it’s easy to see why. I started reading the first book and I was hooked.

thirddegree Interestingly, the first book in the series, The Third Degree, isn’t really a mystery. In The Third Degree, we meet Chloe and her two half-sisters, Brynn and Phoebe. Their mother is a waitress, a single mother, who in the course of the story meets Louis Levesque, a homicide detective with the Montreal police. Chloe, Brynn and Phoebe all have different fathers; Chloe’s father is Chinese, and lives in Beijing.

The Third Degree revolves around Chloe, who finds herself in a bit of a moral dilemma as a result of hanging out with the wrong crowd. There isn’t much of a mystery, but it does introduce us to Chloe and Levesque, who is to become Chloe’s mother’s husband number four. It’s also the only book in the series that’s written in third person; the rest of the books are all written in first person, with Chloe as the narrator.

overtheedge

Over The Edge is the actual start of the Chloe and Levesque mystery series. Chloe finds herself in the town of East Hastings, Ontario, where her new stepfather, Levesque, is the new Chief of Police. High school loner and astronomy genius Peter Flosnick has been found dead of an apparent suicide, and soon Chloe finds herself knee deep in clues that suggest Peter’s death isn’t a suicide, but murder.

The story is fast-paced and engrossing, and it’s interesting to watch Chloe’s relationship with Levesque develop. Chloe isn’t quite the rebel she was in The Third Degree, but she’s still very independent … and not liking the move from big city Montreal to small town East Hastings very much. it’s a great start to a very good mystery series.

doublecross

In Double Cross, Chloe meets high school outsider Jonah Shackleton. Jonah is a troubled teenager whose father was convicted of murdering his wife, Jonah’s mother, five years previously. Chloe’s first encounter with Jonah is not particularly pleasant:

“All I said – and I said it nicely – was, ‘Excuse me, but is this seat taken?’

He – a guy I had never seen before – scowled at me as if I were a cockroach that had taken on human form. Then he said – well, let’s just say he came close to making me blush, which isn’t easy. I’m a city kid. I know how to swear with the best of them. Who would have thought some high school kid in piddly little middle-of-nowhere East Hastings could shock me?”

Despite this encounter, Chloe soon finds herself looking into the Shackleton murder case. It’s not easy tracking down events occurring five years ago, and the fact that the Chief of Police at the time is now a politician heading into an election makes things even more difficult.

Double Cross is an intricate murder mystery that had me hooked from the very start. Chloe is an extremely likeable protagonist; she’s persistent to the point of stubbornness, smart about most things, and she’s got a good heart, not that she’d ever want to admit to something like that.

After finishing Double Cross, I wanted more of Chloe and Levesque. McClintock’s books are popular around here; I ended up putting holds at the library on two other titles in the series, Break and Enter (one of the winners of the Arthur Ellis Award) and No Escape, but luckily Scared to Death and Not a Trace were both available.

scaredtodeath

Scared to Death, which also won the Arthur Ellis Crime Fiction Award, is a great read. Pretty and popular Tessa Nixon is found dead, floating in Elder Pond. Is it an accident? Or murder? Again Chloe finds herself deep in the mystery, and to complicate matters, her friend Ross, editor of the high school newspaper, had been going out with Tessa and is suspected by others.

By the end of the book, I was on the edge of my seat, worried for Chloe’s safety and wondering whodunnit. The events unfolded very credibly, we meet some unsavory characters who might or might not be the killer, and the ending is satisfying.

notatrace I moved on from Scared to Death to Not a Trace. Published in 2005, Not a Trace is the last book in the series so far, unfortunately. The book grapples with current events, in the form of a struggle between Native rights and developers looking to build a golf course on what might be Native lands.

This time around, it’s Chloe who finds the body; the victim is Trevor Blake, father of the little girl Chloe’s been babysitting over the summer. Blake works for the people developing the golf course, and the Ontario Provincial Police take over and arrest David Mitchell, a Native protestor. But is he guilty?

Once again, Chloe finds herself in danger – not just once but several times. The ending is hair-raising, although things didn’t work out quite as credibly as the previous mysteries in the series (I found it more challenging to reconcile what happens to Chloe in the end to the way the killer is depicted when the truth comes out). Still, Not a Trace is another great read. McClintock has gone on to write other YA mystery series, so it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing more of Chloe and Levesque, but I’m looking forward to reading the two in the series that I haven’t read yet, Break and Enter (one of the winners of the Arthur Ellis Award) and No Escape.

If you’re interested in a very good YA mystery series, I would definitely recommend the Chloe and Levesque series. A note to U.S. readers, though: Amazon.com doesn’t carry any of the books, so you’ll have to buy them through a third party seller or (my recommendation) buy them from Chapters, the Canadian online bookstore.

Where to Buy: (all links are to Chapters)

The Third Degree

Over the Edge

Double Cross

Scared to Death

Break and Enter

No Escape

Not a Trace

Mailbox Monday – March 2

mailboxIt’s time for Mailbox Monday again – Mailbox Monday is hosted each Monday by the Printed Page, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to check out the books people have added to their TBR piles in the last week.

Here’s what arrived in my home this week:

Chick lit: Midori by Moonlight, by Wendy Tokunaga. I won this book in a giveaway over at S. Krishna’s Books and I’m really looking forward to reading it.

Mystery: The Spellman Files, by Lisa Lutz. This one caught my eye while I was out shopping – it looks like a fun quirky mystery kind of like the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovitch.

Paranormal: Marked, by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast. This is the first in the House of Night series.

Young adult: Family Affairs: Secrets of My Hollywood Life, by Jen Calonita. This isn’t the first in the series, but I bought it anyway – it just looked too interesting to resist.

Non-fiction: The Towering World of Jimmy Choo, by Lauren Goldstein Crowe and Sagra Maceira De Rosen. I love shoes – need I say more? ARC courtesy of Bloomsbury.

Children’s Books: Little Skink’s Tail, by Janet Halfmann. This delightful picture book has already reaped a tower of awards; I’m definitely looking forward to reviewing this one. Review copy courtesy of the author and Sylvan Dell Publishing.

What books came into your house this past week? And don’t forget to hop over to the Printed Page to see what treasures have arrived at other book bloggers’ houses, too!