Book Review: Cupcake

Cupcake by Rachel Cohn

SUMMARY: When Cyd Charisse moves from San Francisco to start a new life in New York City, she leaves behind her family--and her true love, Shrimp. She wants to find a cool job, the city's best caffeination and most perfect cupcake, and a hot new love. But the reality of CC's new life hits some unexpected obstacles, including a broken leg that renders her immobile; the joy and aggravation of sharing an apartment with a roommate who's also an older brother; and a tasty selection of guys--none of whom measure up to Shrimp. Then, just when CC starts to get her new life on track, her old love returns. Shrimp has given up on his plans to live and surf in New Zealand and arrives in NYC with nothing to do other than to be with CC. And this time CC is determined that she and Shrimp will not repeat their old mistakes. (from the inside cover)

OPINION: This book continues the story begun in Gingerbread and Shrimp, so you should definitely read those first. That said, I was so glad to see Cyd Charisse back in action in this book! This is definitely an older, wiser CC who is trying to make her way in NYC. You know, she's about the same age as those Sisterhood girls, some of whom also took on the Big Apple after graduation. And she could kick all of their ...um... *keisters* in categories like caffeination, relationship maturity, clothing, and general coolness.

WEBSITES: Visit Rachel Cohn's homepage or her MySpace!

YUM: Did this book make you hungry? Check out a cupcake cookbook!


Book Swap and Board Games!

Yesterday, 10 teens visited our winter book swap event, and 7 stayed to play games. It was excellent. Over 50 books were swapped, lots of library bucks were earned, and three prizes were given. And I got to test out two new games I got for Christmas--Cranium Pop 5 and Buzz Word. Thanks to everyone who helped make our event fun! We'll definitely do another swap this summer.


New Books on the Block

New fiction books are hangin' tough at the library...

  • The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Volume One: Traitor to the Nation by M. T. Anderson
  • Cupcake by Rachel Cohn (*finally*)
  • Terrier by Tamora Pierce
  • It's a Mall World After All by Janette Rallison
  • The New Policeman by Kate Thompson

And yes, the title of the post and my intro at the top are a bit of 80s trivia. Anyone get it??


Chocolate Books!

Here are books with the word CHOCOLATE in the title! Yum!!

Teen Fiction
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  • Beyond the Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  • Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
  • The Chocolate Lover by M. E. Rabb
  • Sorcery and Cecelia, or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patrica C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

Adult Fiction

  • Dying for Chocolate by Diane Mott Davidsion
  • Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  • Chocolat by Joanne Harris


  • Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America by Steve Almond


  • Chocolate for a Teen's Dreams by Kay Allenbaugh
  • Chocolate for a Teen's Heart by Kay Allenbaugh
  • Chocolate for a Teen's Soul by Kay Allenbaugh
  • Chocolate for a Teen's Spirit by Kay Allenbaugh
  • Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Teenage Soul by Arielle Ford

Here's a related teen book that doesn't have chocolate in the title, but has chocolate on the cover: Flavor of the Week by Tucker Shaw.

And don't forget COOKBOOKS...there are tons of cookbooks full of nothing but chocolate recipes!!!



Yes, it's that time of year again. And no matter how you feel about Valentine's Day, you can still enjoy chocolate!!!

Surf some chocolate:

Watch some chocolate:

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005; PG)
  • Chocolat (2000; PG-13)
  • I Love Lucy episode 39: "Job Switching" (1952; aka the candy factory episode)
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971; G)

Visit some chocolate:


Fanboy Factoids

Notes from Barry's latest newsletter...

I'm too modest to say so ("Yeah, right," you all say, rolling your eyes), but School Library Journal has no such qualms. They listed Fanboy as one of the Best Books of 2006. And the Parkersburg (WV) News and Sentinel named it Teen Book of the Year for 2006.But none of that can hold a candle to the Catholic News Service listing my book as one of the best books to give to children for the holiday season, right under a book about teaching children about Jesus. Let me tell you, that one made my Catholic grandfather pretty happy...though it confused me. I mean, did they even READ the book? What was the Pope thinking?

The Fanboy and Goth Girl audiobook is on track to come out in March. I spoke with the producer, who is very excited about it. They've lined up a TERRIFIC narrator, none other than Scott Brick. Those of you in comics might recognize Scott's name -- he's done a lot of freelance work for Wizard and the like. He's a huge comic book fan, so it's quite apropos that he'll be narrating this book. (And we all know he won't have any trouble pronouncing any of the comic book references!) Scott was recently named Narrator of the Year by PW, so it's an honor to have him on the project.

The paperback edition of Fanboy will be out in October...just in time for the release of my second book, Boy Toy.

Yes, this is what EVERYONE wants to hear about. :) Wish I had news for you, folks, but I don't. The negotiations continue between my agent and the movie folks. These things take time. I've basically put it out of my thoughts. If it's going to happen, it'll happen.


Chocolate Party!

On Saturday, 27 teens came to the Teen Advisory Board's Chocoholics Anonymous chocolate party! It was great to see everyone, and we certainly got our fill of chocolate! We watched segments from the movies Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, tried chocolate marshmallow fondue, rated gourmet chocolates, played chocolate bingo, attempted to unwrap Hershey's Kisses while wearing oven mitts, guessed how much chocolate was in the jar, and answered chocolate trivia. And there were tons of chocolate snacks. Thanks to Tyria for the Oreos, Katie for the chocolate-covered strawberries, Caitlin for the gourmet brownies, and Laura for the cupcakes. It was wonderful!


Chocoholics Anonymous 12 Step Program

For the TAB's Chocoholics Anonymous party yesterday, Caitlin came up with some parts of a 12 step program. I added the rest, and this is what we ended up with:

1. Accept that you have a problem with chocolate.

2. Admit past wrongdoings involving chocolate, even if they are elaborate, tragic, or disturbing.

3. Ask a higher power to give you strength to resist the temptation of sweet, gooey, creamy, rich chocolate.

4. Always be on your guard; you never know when chocolate will strike!

5. Satisfy your chocolate cravings with similar substitutes, like carrots or broccoli. If that doesn’t work, try eating a picture of chocolate--there’s lots of fiber, and no calories!

6. Talk to chocolate. Let it know who’s boss. Especially do this in public places. People’s weird looks will discourage you from eating it.

7. Don’t quit alone! Have a quitting buddy. Force your parents to let your quitting buddy live at your house. It’s for your health!

8. Get into a fun new hobby, like competitive cheese rolling or opening a local chapter of the Corduroy Appreciation Club.

9. Sue the chocolate companies. Give the winnings to our organization.

10. Mount an anti-chocolate campaign in your neighborhood. You could prohibit Girl Scouts from selling cookies, or, better yet, start a picket line at your local Wawa.

11. Take your anti-chocolate campaign on the road! Get a rock band together and sing about the dangers of chocolate at local schools. Eat the fruits and vegetables that the students throw at you.

12. If all else fails and you must eat chocolate, you are a hopeless cause. Go enjoy your M&Ms, and Rocky Road ice cream, and Mounds, and Hershey’s Kisses, and Twix, and Junior Mints, and Snickers, and Three Musketeers, and Kit Kat, and Moose Tracks ice cream, and Reese’s Cups, and Kandy Kakes, and Rolo, and Sugar Babies, and Cadbury Eggs, and Moon Pies, and Oreos. . .


Book Review: The Christopher Killer

The Christopher Killer: A Forensic Mystery by Alane Ferguson

SUMMARY: Ferguson's latest mystery-thriller introduces 17-year-old Cameryn Mahoney, who has the annoying habit of challenging her elders (most of whom seem to deserve it). She also has the unshakable desire to be a forensic pathologist--and a very strong stomach. The latter comes in handy during the autopsy of a friend, the latest victim of a serial killer whose signature is a St. Christopher's medal left with each body. The vivid autopsy scenes are surprising, given the fairly routine story line and agreeable, though certainly not complex, characters. It's Cammie's energy and chutzpa that really propel the story, and readers will sympathize with her as she struggles to decide whether to keep faith with science or be sucked in by a charismatic psychic. This is worlds away from the Nancy Drew college series in terms of gore, but CSI fans won't blink twice. (from the Booklist review)

OPINION: Cammie is really interested in figuring out the stories the dead have to tell, but she has to have a lot of personal strength, knowledge, and patience to figure out those stories! In this first book of the series, she begins to put her book learning to the test by helping her dad, a coroner, with his caseload. As a forensic mystery, this book really focuses on the postmortem aspects of crime solving. Think of it like a literary CSI: plenty of discussion and descriptions regarding decaying dead bodies, autopsies, and life in the morgue. But it is also a fast-moving thriller with plenty of action to keep your interest.



Look for some shiny new covers on the shelf...
  • The Prophecy by Hilari Bell
  • The Christopher Killer: A Forensic Mystery by Alane Ferguson
  • Shattering Glass by Gail Giles
  • Standing Against the Wind by Traci L. Jones
  • Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
  • Mixed: An Anthology of Short Fiction on the Multiracial Experience edited by Chandra Prasad
  • Endymion Spring by Matthew Skelton


Here's Looking at You, Kid

If you go in the teen corner this week, you may notice that the books are watching you. That's because I made a list of books with cover designs that have eyes staring directly out, and I put all the books on display. It's kind of creepy when you see them all together! So, get a copy of the list and look for some books that look back. The eyes have it!!!!


Groundhog Day!

Tonight, 23 teens took over the program room to watch Groundhog Day on Groundhog Day. It was an excellent first teen movie night, and there are many more to come this year! The TAB is buying some pillows for this sort of thing, so look for more of those in the future, too. If you have movie suggestions, post them here or email me!