Books Young Adult

Hotlight Spotlight: My Basmati Bat Mitzvah, Paula J Freedman

My Basmati Bat Mitzvah


I know you’re thinking what I’m thinking, what in the world? To be sure, I’m not a fan of the cover, but I love the idea of combining the two ethnicities for a fun read!

During the fall leading up to her bat mitzvah, Tara (Hindi for “star”) Feinstein has a lot more than her Torah portion on her mind. Between Hebrew school and study sessions with the rabbi, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to hang out with her best friend Ben-o–who might also be her boyfriend–and her other best friend, Rebecca, who’s getting a little too cozy with that snotty Sheila Rosenberg. Not to mention working on her robotics project with the class clown Ryan Berger, or figuring out what to do with a priceless heirloom sari that she accidentally ruined. Amid all this drama, Tara considers how to balance her Indian and Jewish identities and what it means to have a bat mitzvah while questioning her faith.

How fun does that sound? I’m thinking Bend it Like Beckham meets I don’t know what in YA.  Anyway, this looks like a fun chick lit type read that might also teach you a thing or two about Hindi and Judaism.

If only I could get an invite to that Bat Mitzvah, there will surely be some yummy food!

Books Young Adult

Am I Divergent?

I just finished reading Divergent and I LOVED IT!


If you don’t know anything about this wildly popular series, here’s a blurb from

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Sounds great, right?  Based on the faction descriptions, I’m probably an Erudite.  What about you?  After meeting them during the book, I’m not sure that I’d actually want to be an Erudite because they seem kinda sick and twisted in a way that I don’t wan to be associated with. So maybe I AM Divergent?

Having finished the first audio book I’m now in a difficult predicament: do I continue with the series or do I stop and wait?  To be sure, I’m interested in moving forward.  It’s the holiday season so I’m sure there is someone SOMEWHERE who wants to gift me the audio version (which I will swoon if I receive). But that’s not the point.  I’m kind of burned out on series.  After binge reading (listening)  all five Mortal Instruments books, I’m tired.  I’m not sure that I have the emotional energy right now to spare, ya know? While anxiously waiting for Catching Fire to begin I saw the previews for the Divergent movie which doesn’t come out until after the new year.  Perhaps I can wait until then to pick up where I left off.

Meanwhile, I have time to squeeze in a few more books for pleasure.  I’m thinking Code Name Verity…

What do you think of Divergent?  Did you love it? Tell me!



Nominate Your Fave Book at Cybils


I nominated one of my fave picture books for the 2013 Cybils award.

Click the logo to find out which one I picked.

You can nominate your fave book too!


Did You Write The Next Big YA Book?

Do you dream of writing the next big YA book?  Have you already written something that you think is FAB?

Here’s your chance!


Click here to learn more about how to submit your manuscript to possibly get a publishing contract and become the next big YA book.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll see you at BEA 14 as an author?!

What are you waiting for? GO!


Blogging from A to Z Challenge Books Young Adult

M #atozchallenge

It’s M day!


I’ve got two entirely different types of books for you today.

The first is Monster High by Lisi Harrison, author of the The Clique.  Here’s what they say in Goodreads:

monster high unconventional librarianFrom Lisi Harrison, the New York Times bestselling author of The Clique and Alphas, comes a new series with a fresh twist on high school, romance, and the horrors of trying to fit in.

They prefer to call themselves RAD (Regular Attribute Dodgers), but some call them monsters. So far, the “monster” community has kept a low profile in Salem, but this year two new girls enroll at Master High School, and the town will never be the same.

Created just fifteen days ago, Frankie Stein is psyched to trade her father’s formaldehyde-smelling basement lab for parties and cheerleading. But with a student body totally freaked out by rumors of monsters who might be stalking the halls, Frankie finds that life in the “normi” world can be rough for a chic freak like her.

She thinks she finds a friend in fellow new student Melody Carver–but can a normi be trusted with her big secret?


So, I like the way that sounds! Monstery but still kinda fun with the high school antics everyone loves.


The next book I have for you is a very recently released book by Maureen Johnson, Madness Underneath.  I was so thrilled to grab an autographed copy with STICKERS!!

madness underneath unconventional librarian

Yep, that’s Mojo and me, right there! The Madness Underneath is the second book in the Shades of London series; which, unfortunately, I’ve not had time to read yet but there’s always tomorrow, right?

Sigh, so many books, so little time!

Any M books out there that you like?