About SamiK

I'm a Library Director for a small(ish) Texas town with a desire to share my love of books and the library with my community.

Currently, I am working towards my MLS (Master of Library Science) from Texas Woman's University (my alma mater!).

When I'm not treading through a pile a school work and work work, I make precious memories with both my handsome men at home. Whether we are playing with the sand between our toes, making a campfire, or just taking in a movie at home, every moment is unique.



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December 28, 2011

It's about dang time!

I've been slacking lately on EVERYTHING - reading, blogging, and *ZZZZZ*...*ahem* (sorry) sleeping!  So let's jump right in to the updates:
Life has been super busy with Christmas, wedding planning (follow that here), finals (I passed - and if you didn't notice I even changed my about me :P)
Well I finally got around to posting my review for Flamingnet. Here it is for all to read.
BOOK REVIEW 
Trevor enlists Jules in his plan to make a profit from the suicides of frequent visitors of a depression chat room. Jules makes a “pact” with each victim to commit the act together. Jules fakes it, and Trevor swoops in to make off with the valuables. Everything goes as planned until she begins to fall in love with Gabe, their seventh potential victim. Now, Jules faces the most important decision she has yet.
Vander Ark’s novel is filled with dark romance and twists and turns that keep the reader turning the pages. Unlike most young adult novels with mature content that can be overlooked to enjoy the book, the content of Lighthouse Nights cannot. It is as much a part of the book as the setting and characters. I would definitely recommend this book to others who enjoy realistic novels, but it may be triggering to some.
I give the book a 4/5. That may seem high but it really was a good book. I took points off because of the ending. No spoiler here, but I did not like it! Not in a "what was Vander Ark thinking! gah he's an idiot!" way, but a "ohmygosh! NOOOOOO!!!!! Gabe?!?! Why?!?!" moment. If you don't mind the language or graphic descriptions, you'll make it through, but if not, DO NOT PICK IT UP!
I'm looking forward to trying some of his other novels to see how they compare. But heck! For a screenwright turned author, Vander Ark is awesome! (now that I remember Lighthouse Nights was originally a screenplay, it makes sense why the book read like a movie. heh! memory you function but not in a timely manner :/
and...
I still have not started any of the books at home, but I did add another to the To Be Read stack - The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler! EEEEK!!!!  Keep checking back for reviews on all the books!


December 7, 2011

Taste Test in Leasing

I (proudly) say that I ordered my first set of books today - lease books actually. We have decided to try our lease program, which has been majorly successful with adults, on the teen patrons. So in a few weeks the YA Wall will have a new section - Lease YA! Hopefully, this test will go well and the collection will become more than temporary. The section will feature ten books that can be checked out like any other book in the collection, however, only one LYA will be allowed to be checked out at one time.

Be on the look out for:

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Every Other Day by Jennifer Barnes
Wolf Mark by Joseph Bruchac
Sweet Little Lies by Lauren Conrad
Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon
You Have Seven Messages by Stewart Lewis
Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
December 3, 2011

Fill me up, Ally!

It's been too long since I posted! So much has happened in the past few weeks:
*I'm now officially engaged :)
*Planned most of the wedding
*I finished two of my books (finally)
*I found a book I did not like despite all the good reviews
*Completed about half of my Christmas shopping

well I think you get the picture!

Book Review
This is post is mostly about the sequel to Matched by Ally Condie, Crossed.

It took longer than I thought it woud to finish once I had started. I'm really starting to believe I read slower than I use too :/ It took three days!
Day 1 (last week) - Read about 1/6 of the book
Day 2 (Thursday)- Spent 6 hours reading about 2/3 of the book
Day 3 (last night)- Finished the book

Summary (from Goodreads)
In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.


My thoughts:

If you can't tell from the title of this post, the book left me empty - not in a bad way - I want more! A few parts were not what I wanted (but I'm not the author, so what I want really doesn't matter), but I am now more anxious than ever for the third book in the trilogy. I don't want to ruin the book for anyone so there may be spoilers from here out.

There is nothing remotely wrong with this book, however, there were a few twists and characters that I found upsetting (which is okay, I promise).

When I read the Twilight saga, I wasn't happy when I first found out Bella was pregnant, I almost threw the book at the wall. BUT Meyer redeemed the story with the imprinting of Jacob. Although I didn't nearly throw Crossed, I did exclaim loudly (thankfully no one else was home) when I came across my list below.

1. I was not happy with Xander being a part of the Rising. I don't know, but it makes me mad that he is.
2.And what is with Indie?! I just don't like her character very much. Maybe because she gets to share the Rising with Ky and Cassia doesn't?
3.Oh, I can't forget the last chapter! I'm thinking it's Xander not Ky she is going to meet, but we will never know until book three comes out. The only reason this upset me is because the book ended with a major cliffhanger since there is no information for the final installment to the trilogy (at least none that I have heard). What do you think, was it Xander or Ky?

I really am excited to finish the rest of the trilogy, do not mistake my rant above for dislike of the book. This is one of my favorite series, and Condie has not left me unsatisfied yet!

Other


1. Lighthouse Nights (Flamingnet)review coming soon!
2. Gave up on Blue Bloods. I kept trying and just couldn't finish it. I can't say it was bad because it wasn't the writing, but it's not my preferred type of book. I had no interest to keep going even though I've had at least five people recommend them. Have you ever had a book you just couln't read?
3. I (finally) finished Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado. However, I won't be doing a review on it.

Currently Reading

1. XVI - Julie Karr
2. The Death Cure - James Dashner
(only two right now due to the final two weeks of the semester!)
November 9, 2011

Currently Reading (and more)

Well I've got six books sitting in a general area at home that need to be read. Unfortunately I have neglected my love of reading for awhile. So here is my list of books I'm currently (or about to be) reading:

1. Outlive Your Life - Max Lucado (it is taking me forever to read this one again
2. Blue Bloods - Melissa de la Cruz (I couldn't get past the first page -- I'm not into the vampire stories, so this is going to be a challenge)
3. Lighthouse Nights - Jake Vander Ark (reviewing for Flamingnet)
4. Crossed - Ally Condie (Not going to start until I finish the above---eeek!!!!)
5. The Death Cure - James Dashner (I am most excited about this final installment to the Maze Runner Trilogy but I know if I start this one nothing else will matter, so my Nook remains off and hidden until the right time)
6. XIV - Julia Karr ( I'm looking forward to this one but it is nowhere near a priority at this time)

Looks like between work and classes there won't be much time for sleep! :)


and now time for the "more"

I had a pleasant surprise today at work when I was called back to the Youth Room and met blogger Cristina. Check out her blog here. She took home three of our YA arcs for review. Anxious to see them arrive! Also looking forward to my late start in the read-a-thon she is participating in. Read more about it here.

I'll follow up with more information on the read-a-thon and the books.
November 5, 2011

In my mailbox

I [occasionally] write reviews for Flamingnet and have been anxiously awaiting for the box with my next book enclosed. Yesterday, my waiting came to an end.

As I arrived home, it sat patiently on my porch. Inside the normal brown box was "Lighthouse Nights" by Jake Vander Ark.

With a little over a month left in my final semester as an undergrad, I've pledged to finish weekly assignments before I dare pick up a book. I'm admittedly the world's worst procrastinator. Thus, "Lighthouse Nights" is currently resting on my tv stand taunting me.

A review will follow.
October 4, 2011

Halloween Bulletin Board

Decorating the bulletin board in the Youth Room is one of my favorite jobs, and October is my favorite display. This year, however, I've chosen to be laid back and leave up the Pick an Apple display. I'm dedicating this post to one of my favorite displays -- my first Halloween at BCPL.

My favorite display was for Halloween in 2008. Supplies used: black construction paper, black pipe cleaners, white string (or yarn), and googley eyes. I covered the board with the paper, then created a large web across the board with the string. I made a spider with a round piece of construction paper. I taped the legs (pipe cleaners) to the bottom of the body and glued the eyes on top. I attached string to the spider to make it look like it was hanging from the web.

It was easy, quick, and the kids loved it! I recommend using a display like this for October or for highlighting books on spider.
October 3, 2011

Just Checked Out!

Although I haven't spent the time to finish Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado, I thought it would be good to get my next reads. While I'm waiting for approval of my review at Flamingnet so I can requst a new book to review, I decided to check out some from the library that I have been wanting to read.

Sidenote: I didn't realize when I started working at the library (three years ago) that I wouldn't have as much time to read, but I've found that I do much less reading than when I was in high school. So to get my life in order (with everything from books to lifestyle choices--these are on my personal blog) I have decided to set up monthly resolutions. For September I decided to read more, which I have by the past two reviews within days of eachother.

Back to the point of this post! I just checked out two of the books that have intrigued me through the last few years. After countless recommendations and harrassment to read by my library teens, I picked up Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz; I'm not really into the whole vampire scene (except for Twilight, of course). An adult patron suggested them last week, so I'm going to attempt the series. I also picked up XVI by Julia Carr. This is more my style of book. So I'll probably read this second; that way I'm forced to finish Blue Bloods if I find I don't like it (but the reviews are too positive for me to not).

Looking forward to finishing at least two of my books this week. Reviews will follow!
September 29, 2011

Book Review: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott (slight spoiler)

Wow.
That describes it from page 1 to page 170.
170 pages of wow.

Elizabeth Scott has been on my radar ever since I saw Living Dead Girl on the processing shelf and watched as her books, intense in appearance, became part of the collection. I didn't get the nerve to take one home until last night when I wanted a light read. It may look "light" with its one to three page chapters and 1/2" width, but the content inside was overflowing with depth. It was like Mary Poppins' magical purse; it was small to the eye but what it contained was never ending.

I have to admit that it wasn't completely what I thought it was going to be about, although I was pretty close. Originally I thought Alice didn't know she was kidnapped, but in Chapter three Scott makes it clear that Alice wasn't always Ray's (in my eyes) prisoner. Although there is no mystery to her kidnapping, Alice disturbing and haunting story kept me glued from start to finish waiting for an ending that only left me disappointed. No, not because it wasn't good, but because I don't if she died or lived. All Scott leaves us with is that Alice is free from Ray's sexual, physical, mental, and verbal abuse.

On that note--if you are sensitive to any abuse (whether you are young or an adult), be warned that Scott did not sugarcoat in this story. Although she was not graphic, it is evident of what takes place. Because of this I don't recommend this to anyone under 13, but in the end it is up to the reader (and parent if they are minor).
September 27, 2011

Book Review: Matched

Iit has been awhile since my last post (about five months)! Where has the time gone?! Sorry to have left you lonely, but I did not abandon you. As a special treat and to show how much I care I'm going to review Matched by Ally Condie as my return post.




I finished the final eight chapters last night, and although it took me a couple of hours, it wasn't because the book was lacking in any way. Condie wrote this book with such beauty that is no wonder why this trilogy is a hit before the second of the series has been released. I am anxiously awaiting the release of Crossed now.

In a dystopian future, where the Society decides everything from what you eat, where you work, who you marry, to when you die, we are introduced the unlikely of heroines, Cassia. Her life has always gone as the Society has planned, but a revolution inside her begins when she discovers two faces on her Match microcard, her grandfather gives her an illegal poem, and realizes that the Society is not perfect. What happens when she decides she has a choice when the Society says otherwise?

I immediately fell in love with Cassia - she doesn't stand out like most heroines tend to. I was reminded of a mix between the classic 1984 and bestseller Twilight Saga. We have the love story similar to the Bella-Edward-Jacob triangle with the Big Brother dystopian society. The semi-cliffhanger at the end leaves me wanting more (especially since I know there is a sequel) but could have easily been the close of the novel. I am sincerely excited to see what will come of Cassia, Ky, Xander, and the Society and to see the new characters, twists, and surprises that Condie will bring in the following books.

AND I just found out that a movie has been optioned! Hopefully they won't ruin this like the Twilight Saga.
April 21, 2011

Review: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

Okay I'm going to make this short and simple.

Book: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan


If you enjoyed Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, then you will definitely enjoy this one!

Lily's parents and grandfather are away for Christmas and her brother is too involved in his boyfriend to spend time with her. To spice up her holiday (and life) he creates a Book of Dares in a red moleskin which they hide in the Strand for the perfect finder.

Told through alternating chapters (Cohn as Lily, Levithan as Dash), the adventure is full of twists and turns but did have a few predictable moments. I loved the references to pop culture and politcal/corporate stabs throughout the book. Although a work of fiction, Cohn and Levithan did a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life.

Teen girls would really enjoy this novel.

I will note that there is some crude language (mostly from Dash).

Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I have to admit that some of my favorite reads are about dystopian civilizations (Lord of the Flies, Fahrenheit 451, Animal Farm) especially those that involve human psychology and behavior (see above examples). The Maze Runner by James Dashner did not disappoint!

After receiving a Nook for Christmas, I immediately downloaded this ebook. Unfortunately, time did not allow me to really sit down, read, and enjoy until last week. After a few hours I finished and couldn't wait to start on the sequel -- The Scorch Trials!

Confession: I have not been this excited about a series since the Twilight Saga, but in a completely different way. These series are completely different!

Summary: Thomas wakes up in the lift remembering only his name and fragments of unspecific memories. He is delivered to the Glade where teenaged boys have been dropped off for two years with no memory. After Day One, he wants to be a Runner. On Day Two, she arrives with the message that "everything is going to change."

It was a real page turner that kept me reading for hours! I couldn't help but wonder how Thomas and Teresa knew eachother. Although the book covers short amount of time in the Glade, this allows for more character development and understanding of the setting. I couldn't have asked for a better ending that allows for transition into the sequel.

I highly recommend this book to EVERYONE!
February 28, 2011

Teen area possibility???

After years of trying to put in place a teen area in the library, I finally have a chance at accomplishing this! The hardest part of the planning was surprisingly not the funding. Around here it is the space! Last year we moved our public computers to the Reference area, and we changed the Computer Room to a Community Room. So how do we maintain the Community Room while provind a teen area?

We make it versatile, of course! We won't be moving the YA books from the Youth Room, but we will be (hopefully) providing a safe and engaging environment for teens afterschool. Unfortunately with limited staff, it would only be available a few afternoons a week.

So in a few weeks I will be presenting the idea to the Board and I hope we will finally be able to provide the teens of our community with a place of their own!
February 24, 2011

#2!!!

Oh this is becoming too much fun! Book trailer #2 is complete and uploading on YouTube at this very minute! I chose one of my favorite YA books - Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher - because it is such a wonderful story and Asher did a spectacular job writing it.  So without further ado, I give you my booktrailer for Thirteen Reasons Why!



video
February 23, 2011

Booktrailers

After mulling over the idea of creating a booktrailer, I finally sat myself down and created one. It turned out pretty darn good for my first attempt with all the software and royalty free websites. If you are considering creating one, here are the two websites I used for my images and music:

Stock Xchange - great selection of free images, but I wish it was more user friendly, especially the search
http://www.sxc.hu/

FreePlayMusic - an abundant selection of wonderful music clips! Easy to find the perfect clip with categories based on sound, instrument, etc.
http://freeplaymusic.com/

To make the video I used Windows Movie Maker. After playing with it, there are alternatives to the one I created, but those I will experiment with next time. Yes, there will be a next time and many more after that!

Making a booktrailer was such a fun way to market the books. So get creative and have sum fun!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wjq1m0ehgBg
video



January 5, 2011

Terror in the Classroom

On December 28th the Superintendent of Bay City ISD received a threat letter addressed personally to him. The letter contains threats to his children and the children of school board members and staff. The FBI and Texas Rangers have joined the investigation. The threat is being taken seriously and considered a terroristic threat.

Click here to read the letter.

Rating System

IT WAS AMAZING!!!! You should be at the book store right now buying it! :)
I really liked it. You should def check it out and give it a shot
It was ok. At least read the synopsis on the back.
Eh....It was alright. It's borrow from a friend material.
Leave it on the shelf!!

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Samantha has read 6 books toward her goal of 24 books.
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