Sunday, September 5, 2010

New Crayons & Reading in Color Updates

New Crayons is a meme (no one ever did tell me what a meme was. Does this mean no one knows or people just don't care enough to explain? haha) hosted by Color Online.

A quick note on reviews for the month of September. September is Hispanic Heritage Month. I thin by now everyone knows how I feel about these cultural months. However I'm going to use this month not to overly emphasize books about Latinos, but to review all the books I own by/about Latinos. As you will see from the books I got this week, I have quite a few to review with Latina main characters. I also own some that still need to be reviewed (yes I'm looking at you: The Dreamer, Girl vs. Boy, Roberto and Me, The Surrender Tree and a few others). Hooray for cultural months that help me lower the number of books in my TBR pile ;)

When the Stars Go Blue
by Caridad Ferrer

Release Date: November 23, 2010

A dancer driven to succeed.

A musical prodigy attempting to escape his past.

The summer they share.

And the moment it all goes wrong.

Dance is Soledad Reyes’s life. About to graduate from Miami’s Biscayne High School for the Performing Arts, she plans on spending her last summer at home teaching in a dance studio, saving money, and eventually auditioning for dance companies. That is, until fate intervenes in the form of fellow student Jonathan Crandall who has what sounds like an outrageous proposition: Forget teaching. Why not spend the summer performing in the intense environment of the competitive drum and bugle corps? The corps is going to be performing Carmen, and the opportunity to portray the character of the sultry gypsy proves too tempting for Soledad to pass up, as well as the opportunity to spend more time with Jonathan, who intrigues her in a way no boy ever has before.

But in an uncanny echo of the story they perform every evening, an unexpected competitor for Soledad's affections appears: Taz, a member of an all-star Spanish soccer team. One explosive encounter later Soledad finds not only her relationship with Jonathan threatened, but her entire future as a professional dancer.

-The only downside to getting this book over Labor Day weekend is that I've been out and about and haven't had as much time to read it. But now I'm almost done and dear readers, this story ROCKS. Totally going to be another favorite book of the year. I try to review books closer to their release date, and that should give me time to think of an adequate review because right now all I can think is 'WHOA' (in a good way). I'm probably going to have to buy a hardcover copy because I want to see what the back cover will look like. This cover is one of my absolute favorites too. This book is such a win. Check out my Waiting on Wednesday post in which the author commented explaining why she chose the title. It's based on a song and the lyrics completely fit with the story (it's sort of eerie ;)

Amigas series by Veronica Chambers, crated by Jane Startz, inspired by Jennifer Lopez (I received #s 1-3 in the series)

Amigas #1: Fifteen Candles
(Summary of the first book)

Four friends. One sweet fifteen. Miami is heating up!
Miami, Florida, has it all--beaches, boys, sun, and fun. It also has quinceneras. Lots of them! The fantastic parties thrown for Latina girls turning fifteen are a staple of the Miami social scene. For Alicia Cruz and her three best friends--Carmen, Jamie, and Gaz--they are just part of the background of summer.

But this summer, things are going to change. After meeting Sarita, a new girl in town, at her internship, Alicia ends up volunteering to help organize Sarita's quince. She also volunteers her friends. Soon Alicia is drowning in preparation and turning into a quincezilla--and it isn't even her party! But there is just so much to do--there are shoes to be bought, dances to choreograph, and then there is Gaz. He is being flirtier than usual with Alicia and she's not sure what to do. It seems like Alicia is dangerously close to losing her friends...and her mind! Will she learn to trust her amigas and rock the party?

-My fingers are crossed that one of the friends is Panamanian (the author is). I'm a little tired of all the quinceaneara books out there but this may be due to my jealousy over not having one. I never reviewed any of those books here anyway so might as well start. I love the idea of teens planning parties and getting paid to do so.

La Linea by Ann Jaramillo

Miguel has dreamed of joining his parents in California since the day they left him behind in Mexico six years, eleven months, and twelve days ago. On the morning of his fifteenth birthday, Miguel’s wait is over.
Or so he thinks. The trip north to the border—la línea—is fraught with dangers. Thieves. Border guards. And a grueling, two-day trek across the desert. It would be hard enough to survive alone. But it’s almost impossible with his tagalong sister in tow.
Their money gone and their hopes nearly dashed, Miguel and his sister have no choice but to hop the infamous mata gente as it races toward the border. As they cling to the roof of the speeding train, they hold onto each other, and to their dreams. But they quickly learn that you can’t always count on dreams—even the ones that come true.
I actually haven't read that many books about crossing the border. At least, not the actual process. I remember passing this book a few times at my elementary school library, but I never read it (this was when I was in my phase of not reading books about Mexico. I had pretty much reached my capacity for books about Mexican teenagers. Don't get me wrong, the stories were good and I enjoy learning about Mexican culture, but that was all I seemed to be able to find. I got tired of it, I wanted to learn about other Latino cultures. It was only in the summer before high school that I first discovered books that were not about Mexicans, but were about Latinos). Regardless, I look forward to reading this book. I received this book from Melissa at YA Book Geek, thank you so much!
White is for Witching by Helen Oyemi

As a child, Miranda Silver developed pica, a rare eating disorder that causes its victims to consume nonedible substances. The death of her mother when Miranda is sixteen exacerbates her condition; nothing, however, satisfies a strange hunger passed down through the women in her family. And then there’s the family house in Dover, England, converted to a bed-and-breakfast by Miranda’s father. Dover has long been known for its hostility toward outsiders. But the Silver House manifests a more conscious malice toward strangers, dispatching those visitors it despises. Enraged by the constant stream of foreign staff and guests, the house finally unleashes its most destructive power.

With distinct originality and grace, and an extraordinary gift for making the fantastic believable, Helen Oyeyemi spins the politics of family and nation into a riveting and unforgettable mystery.
This book may end up being an off-color review but since Miranda is supposed to be a fraternal twin of Haitian descent, it may be a regular review. We shall see. Also I've been assured by Tricia that this book is not that scary (scary as in horror movie scary which neither of us like). If it ends up being utterly terrifying, I'm coming for you Tricia! Kidding :) Thank you so much for this book. I've been meaning to read The Icarus Girl for awhile now, but I just want to read anything by Helen Oyemi. By the way, Tricia recently wrote an excellent letter to Borders

I've come to the conclusion that during the school year I simply can't blog everyday and that's OK. It helped for me to realize that I can't handle it when blogs post EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. I love the content and I admire bloggers who either have the time, drive or the wisdom (to pre-schedule posts) to post everyday. But I feel overwhelmed. I constantly think I'm missing something if I don't check the blog everyday, and I don't always have time to do that. So for me and my blog, I won't post every day. Every week there will be six posts (most likely my Throwback Thursday meme participation will fall to the wayside because I don't get sent many books that are pre-2007) or less. I will always have a Waiting on Wednesday post and at least a few reviews (Male Monday and 2010 releases). Maybe not always a New Crayons. I'll play it by ear.

Anyway, what new books did YOU get this week? Any books by/about PoC? Do tell =)


  1. Great list! Thank you so much. I just added them to my library online order that is going through sometime in September. I look forward to more Latino/a suggestions for YA

  2. This week I got Holidaze from the Drama High series which I have yet to start. I'm horrible lol. At least I've got most now. I'm only missing the two newest titles.

  3. Gah, I meant to answer the meme question last week, but I saw it while I was at work and my work computer doesn't like blogspot! Anyway, meme isn't short for anything, it's an idea or practice that's spread from one person or another, and they're considered kind of the cultural version of genes.

    When the Stars Go Blue has a beautiful cover! I can't wait to get my hands on that one.


I love to hear from you!! Thank you for sharing :) And don't be Anon, I try to always reply back and I like to know who I'm replying to ;)